Peak Oil and Peak Coal

Looks like we just hit Peak Coal in 2012 and Peak Oil in Summer 2018. That means that the world’s coal and oil production hit its ultimate peak in those years, and every year after that, production is going to drop. Production could peak for a lot of reasons.

One reason would be that the resource is becoming exhausted. However, in the case of coal, it is possibly just that coal has hit peak demand and the world is weaning itself off the stuff.

Although we did hit peak oil, I suppose it’s possible to hit it again as many producers have reduced their output to drive up prices. Venezuela and Iran have seen output plunge due to crippling sanctions the US put on both of them. Many oil fields are not even fully exploited and there is always the argument that you can find new fields.

More importantly, no more than 10% of the oil can be extracted from any underground oil basin. The rest is simply not reachable for some reason.  However, new technology is enabling us to get up to 25% of the oil from a basin. This could also ramp up production.

The fact that we are resorting to the awful, and deadly polluting process of fracking of oil shale seems to show that humanity is nearing  the limits of the oil it can scrape out of the ground. Shale oil fracking looks like a desperate attempt to grab even the haziest and most dubious extractable oil in a desperate attempt to head off Peak Oil. And even that’s not working.

After Peak Oil, oil production is supposed to decline every year after that. Quite a few folks think this will be a catastrophe but that may not be so. One thing is that oil demand will drop for a lot of uses in the coming decades. A lot of enterprises that burn fossil fuel and move off it onto renewables, with the generation of electricity leading the way so far.

Cars are another matter. Demand for oil for cars rose every year in the last decade. That is because the world continues to add more and more cars, especially in emerging markets like China.  And 97% of cars run on oil. Ethanol never panned out and it has to be mixed with oil to work anyway.

Oil is used for other things. 10% of oil is used to produce plastics. I don’t understand why we should not continue to pump oil to make plastic. I mean oil and coal are only problems when you burn them to create energy. Oil is simply transformed as a raw material in the production of plastic so this use of oil does affect Global Warming at all. Actually even coal has other uses besides burning. It is also used in the production of various manufactured products.

The nonsense about “clean coal” has been a mantra for over a decade now. Obama was fond of that one. Apparently it’s a big fat lie. My research has found that there is no such thing as clean coal. So-called clean coal is dirty as Hell. If anyone has any contrary information about clean coal, I’d like to hear it.

The thing is is that demand for oil, as for coal, may decline in coming years at least for certain uses such as electricity. And if the price does go up, oil producers usually respond to increased demand by increasing supply. When the price drops or demand falls, producers simply reduce production.

All of these factors make it so that skyrocketing oil prices are not necessarily going to happen with Peak Oil, or at least not for some years if ever. There’s a lot more to prices, supply, and demand of products than production of the commodity peaking out.

Why Trump Is a Disaster: The Environment, Consumer and Investor Protection, and Financial Regulation

Zamfir: I’m surprised you have a strong preference for Democrats over Republicans. To me it seems like a hopeless choice. If you vote Republican you’re voting for one set of evil elite interests, but not explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage; if you vote Republican you’re voting for another set of evil elite interests, and explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage.
Hard to pick between those two! What is the real advantage in voting Democrat in your opinion? (I guess I’d vote for Bernie, but then again I’d vote for Trump for similar reasons… Not that I expect either one would ever do much on anything I care about.)

The environment? I am an environmentalist. Trump hates mass transit. Trump’s rolled back fuel standards. Trump doesn’t believe in global warming. Trump’s promoted the fossil fuel industry which is frankly destroying the whole planet and causing global warming which may the death of us all. Trump is dismantling clean energy, solar, etc. Trump’s disastrous on everything environmental like all Republicans.
Trump’s been catastrophic for consumers. Trump has pushed policies that have jacked up prices on a lot of things for us by dismantling consumer protections and regulations and giving corporations and businesses the right to purse maximum profits at our expense. Trump has even dismantled consumer protections for investors so now corporations can screw them over too, which they do, just as they do to workers and consumers, every time they get a chance.
The Finance Regulatory Bureau has been dismantled. Those regulations were set up to prevent another economic crash. With the regulations gone, there will probably be another terrible crash. Trump loosed regulations on banks so they can rip us off a lot more than they already do.

Glaciers Are Sexist

Glaciers, Gender, and Science

A Feminist Glaciology Framework for Global Environmental Change Research

  1. Mark Carey
  2. M Jackson
  3. Alessandro Antonello
  4. Jaclyn Rushing

Mark Carey, Robert D. Clark Honors College, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA. Email: carey{at}uoregon.edu

Abstract

Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers.

feminist glaciology, feminist political ecology, feminist postcolonial science studies, folk glaciology, glacier impacts, glaciers and society

No, seriously, this is not a joke. See here.
Apparently, according to science, glaciers are sexist. Who knew?
I would say they are also racist. I mean come on, they are lily White! Ever seen a Black glacier? Ever seen a MexicanT glacier? Me either. So glaciers exist in a de facto Jim Crow/apartheid segregated environment in which Black and Mexicant glaciers are excluded from existing via pure glacier racism.
Future strategies to combat this injustice may include busing (busing glaciers from one place to the other via glacier buses to relive glacier-caused inequity, forced integration by the creation of alternate forms of glaciers such as Black glaciers and Mexicant glaciers in order to increase much needed glacier diversity, and affirmative action by promoting more diverse glaciers in the literature which is dominated by boring and oppressive descriptions of “dead White glaciers.”
The Cultural Left has been bordering on self parody for some time now but recently they have gone so full retard that you literally cannot tell the difference between actual Cultural Left stuff and their enemies sarcastic attempts to make fun of them.

Night of the Living Anthrax Zombies

Here.
After a 75 year hiatus, anthrax zombies rise from their permafrost graves to kill again! They have killed a boy and a grandma so far and hospitalized 72 other humans. In the meantime as far as non-humans go, they have killed over 2,300 reindeer. This variety doesn’t like to eat brains*, but they can kill you dead just the same.
Whew! It’s a good thing there’s no such thing as global warming! They really had me worried there for a second!
*One of my favorite movie lines of all time comes from that great movie. It’s near the end when the huge police forces have been killed out to kill the zombies, who can only be killed with a bullet to the head. A nervous civilian asks a ranking cop if the zombies can move fast on the ground.
“Are they fast?” he asks anxiously.
The captain looks disgusted and turns away like he wants to spit on the ground. “Nah,” he says. They’re slow. They’re dead. They’re all fucked up.
God smiles down on you, George Romero.

Democratic Platform Is Still a Landmark Document

Despite its problems, this is the most progressive, leftwing platform that the party has ever produced. The Left is winning! Slowly but surely, we are advancing in America. Perhaps Marx was right that the march of history towards progressive is nearly a law rather than a theory. Anyway, I guess history isn’t over yet, despite proclamations by Fukuyama etc. that clocks now run backwards or freeze and the minute hand and the hour hand no longer move forwards as they always have. I believe the moral here is that as humans, and as individuals in our own lives, we always need to be moving forwards, not backwards into regression and barbarism and not freezing in what we think is equilibrium but is really stasis.
As humans, onward and upward.
As individuals, forward, march!

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

I plan on posting a number of articles abut this catastrophic TPP agreement that sadly looks like it is going to become law. I can’t even begin to tell you how horrific this trade agreement is. In a nutshell, it does away with all governments and makes it so corporations rule the world. Any government that passes any law that limits current or future profits of a corporation could be sued on the grounds that that law was a “trade barrier.” The corporation can sue in a kangaroo court made up of corporate types for damages,and the corporation will always win and the governments will always lose.

Government have had to pay out many millions of dollars to corporations for passing laws that limited their profits under NAFTA. And yes, all laws dealing global warming can also be challenged by this Frankenstein of a bill.

As you can see, it encourages the murder of labor leaders, union members and organizers because killing union members would not be a violation of the Labor Section of the agreement. The parts of the TPP dealing with labor and the environment are written in boilerplate and are entirely voluntary, while the sections that allow corporations to rule our lives in written in very strict legalese.

It’s worse than a catastrophe. It’s an out and out nightmare, and it’s the end of representative government as we know it. All governments will become irrelevant, and in their places, we will all be ruled by corporations. In other words, multinational corporations will become our de facto governments. It is stunning how crazy that is.

All the Republicans are for it.

Of course the Democratic Party is down with this agreement all the way. Obama is pushing it like crazy. There was a brief uprising a few months ago when it looked like the bill might not get through the Congress because so many Democrats were against it. This was followed by maniacal lobbying on the part of corporate lobbyists and an all-out propaganda blitz by the US media, 100% of which (note that we have a “free” press) supported the bill.

The “liberal” New York Times came out very strongly in favor of it and said that Obama’s legacy would ride on whether he could get this bill through or not. In other words, according to the “liberal” New York Times, if Obama could not get the bill through, then that would mean that his Presidency was a failure. So the Times threatened Obama with complete humiliation and damage to his mark in history if he could not get the TPP through.

Note that the entire “liberal” media came out in favor of this monstrosity. Note that “liberal” Obama came out in favor of it. I know some Democratic Party stalwarts who seem to support this nightmare bill. They think that people who oppose it are “extremist nuts.”

These people support anything that Obama does. If Obama is for it, then they support it. He can push the most reactionary stuff you could imagine, and these stalwarts will never oppose Obama or any other Democrat for one second. We really need to get away from this insane partisanship, as it is irrational.

To these folks, everything Republicans do its bad and everything Democrats do is good. Unfortunately, once you take that POV, Democrats are free to act as rightwing as they want to, and their moronic stalwarts will support everything they do because it’s treason to oppose a Democrat.

I will be posting more abuo9t this awful and insane trade agreement in the coming days, but this will be good for a starter.

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

by Eric Zeusse, from Global Research

U.S. President Barack Obama’s capstone to his Presidency, his proposed megalithic international ‘trade’ treaties, are finally coming into their home-stretch, with the Pacific deal finally being made public on Thursday November 5th.

The final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proposed treaty would leave each signatory nation liable to be sued by any international corporation that objects to any new regulation, or increase in regulation, regarding climate change, otherwise known as global warming. In no terminology is that phenomenon even so much as just mentioned in the “Environment” chapter.

Regarding labor issues, including slavery, the “Labour” chapter of the TPP contains merely platitudes. (Obama allowed Malaysia into the compact despite its notoriously poor record of non-enforcement of its ban on slavery, because he wants the U.S. to control the Strait of Malacca in order to impede China’s economic and military expansion; it’s part of Obama’s anti-China policy. Almost everything that he does has different motives than the ones his rhetoric claims.)

Throughout, the treaty would place international corporations in ever-increasing control over all regulations regarding workers’ rights, the environment, product safety, and consumer protection. But the environmental and labor sections are particularly blatant insults to the public — a craven homage to the top stockholders in international corporations. The World’s Richest 80 people own the same amount of wealth as the world’s bottom 50%; and Obama represents those and other super-rich and their friends and servants in the lobbying and other associated industries. But he also represents the even richer people who aren’t even on that list, such as King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the world’s richest person. It’s people such as that who will be the real beneficiaries of Obama’s ‘trade’ treaties. The public will be harmed, enormously, wherever these treaties become law.

The full meaning of the terms that are set forth in the TPP agreement won’t be publicly known for at least four years, but the explicit terms that were made public on November 5th, and that will be presented to the 12 participating nations for signing, are entirely consistent with what had been expected on the basis of Wikileaks and other earlier published information.

The 12 participating nations are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. Three countries were excluded by U.S. President Obama, because the U.S. doesn’t yet control them and they are instead viewed as being not allied with the main axis of U.S. international power: U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel. Those three outright-excluded countries are Russia, China, and India. (India, of course, has hostile relations with Pakistan, which is Sunni and therefore part of the Saudi-Qatar-Turkey portion of the U.S. international core, basically the Sunni portion of the core. By contrast, Russia and China have been determinedly independent of the U.S., and are therefore treated by President Obama as being hostile nations: he wants instead to isolate them, to choke off their access to markets, as much as possible. This same motivation also factored largely in his coup to take control of Ukraine, through which Russia’s gas passes on its way into the EU, the world’s largest gas-market.)

6 nations that Obama had invited into the TPP were ultimately unwilling to accept Obama’s terms and so were excluded when the final text was published: Colombia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia.

The phrases “global warming” and “climate change” don’t appear anywhere in the entire TPP document, nor does “climate” nor “warming” — it’s an area that’s entirely left to international corporations in each one of the separate participating nations to assault as much as they wish in order to gain competitive advantage against all of the other corporations that operate in the given nation: i.e., something for each corporation to sacrifice in order to be able to lower the given company’s costs. That raises its profit-margin. This also means that if any international corporation claims to be subjected in any participating nation, to global-warming regulation or enforcement which poses a barrier or impediment to that corporation’s profits, then that corporation may sue that given nation, and fines might be assessed against that nation (i.e., against its taxpayers) for such regulation or enforcement. National publics are no longer sovereign.

The “Labour” chapter is a string of platitudes, such as, “Article 19.7: Corporate Social Responsibility: Each Party shall endeavor to encourage enterprises to voluntarily adopt corporate social responsibility initiatives on labor issues that have been endorsed or supported by that Party.”

President Obama’s Trade Representative, his longtime personal friend Michael Froman, organized and largely wrote Obama’s proposed trade treaties: TPP for the Pacific, and TTIP and TISA for the Atlantic. Froman told the AFL-CIO and U.S. Senators that when countries such as Colombia systematically murder labor-union organizers, it’s no violation of workers’ rights — nothing that’s of any concern to the U.S. regarding this country’s international trade policies or the enforcement of them. On 22 April 2015, Huffington Post, one of the few U.S. news media to report honestly on these treaties, bannered AFL-CIO’s Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t a Violation, and Michael McAuliff reported that, “Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that [Obama] administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts.”

In other words: This is, and will be, the low level of the playing-field that U.S. workers will be competing against in TPP etc., just as it is already, in the far-smaller existing NAFTA (which Hillary Clinton had helped to pass in Congress during the early 1990s). (Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, all campaigned for the Presidency by attacking Republicans for pushing such ‘trade’ deals. Their actions when they gain power, contradict their words. America and virtually the entire world has become rule of a suckered public, by perhaps as many as a thousand psychopathic aristocrats who own the international corporations and ‘news’ media, and who regularly do business with each other though they wall themselves off from the public.

Typically, at their level, it makes no real difference which country their passport is from.) “Trumka said that even after the Obama administration crafted an agreement to tighten labor protections four years ago, some 105 labor organizers have been killed, and more than 1,300 have been threatened with death.” The Obama Administration is ignoring the tightened regulations that it itself had managed to get nominally implemented on paper. “Pressed for details about Trumka’s assertion that murder doesn’t count as a violation of labor rules, Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff, told HuffPost that USTR officials said in at least two meetings where she was present that killing and brutalizing organizers would not be considered interfering with labor rights under the terms of the trade measures.”

Furthermore: “’We documented five or six murders of Guatemalan trade unionists that the government had failed to effectively investigate or prosecute,’ Lee said. ‘The USTR told us that the murders of trade unionists or violence against trade unionists was not a violation of the labor chapter.’”

That U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, is the same person Obama has negotiating with foreign governments, and with international corporations, both Obama’s TPP, and his TTIP & TISA.

The most important chapter in the TPP treaty is “Dispute Settlement,” which sets forth the means by which corporations will sue countries for alleged violations of their stockholders ‘rights’ to extract profits from operations of those corporations in the signatory countries. The underlying assumption here is that the rights of international stockholders take precedence over the rights (even over the sovereignty rights) of the citizens of any participating country.

Instead of these suits being judged according to any nation’s laws, they are allowed to be addressed only by means of private arbitration “Panels.” The Dispute Settlement chapter contains “Article 28.9: Composition of Panels.” Section #1 there is simply: “The panel shall comprise three members.” Each of the two Parties will appoint a member; one for the suing corporation, and the other for the sued nation; and both of those members will then jointly select a third member “from the roster established pursuant to Article 28.10.3”; and this third member will automatically “serve as chair.”

Article 28.10.3 says that anyone who possesses “expertise or experience in law, international trade, other matters covered by this Agreement, or the resolution of disputes arising under international trade agreements” may be selected for the roster, so long as the individual meets vague criteria such as that they “be independent of, and not be affiliated with or take instructions from, any Party.” No penalty is laid out for anyone on the roster who lies about any of that. Basically, anyone may become a person on the roster, even non-lawyers may, and even corrupt individuals may, especially because there are no penalties for anyone on the roster, none at all is stated.

Then, “Article 28.19,” section 8: “If a monetary assessment is to be paid to the complaining Party, then it shall be paid in U.S. currency, or in an equivalent amount of the currency of the responding Party or in another currency agreed to by the disputing Parties.”

There is no appeals-process. If a nation gets fined and yet believes that something was wrong with the panel’s decision, there is no recourse. No matter how much a particular decision might happen to have been arrived at in contradiction of that nation’s laws and courts and legal precedents, the panels’ decisions aren’t appealable in any national legal system. Whatever precedents might become established from these panels’ subsequent record of decisions will constitute no part of any nation’s legal system, but instead create an entirely new forming body of case-law in an evolving international government which consists of international corporations and their panelists, and of whatever other panelists are acceptable to those corporate panelists. Voters have no representation, they’re merely sued. Stockholders have representation, they do the suing, of the various nations’ taxpayers, for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders.

The roster of authorized panelists available to be chosen by any corporation’s panelists in conjunction with by any nation’s panelists, is customarily composed of individuals who move back and forth between government and private-sector roles, through a “revolving door,” so that on both ends of that, the ultimate control is with the owners of the controlling blocs of stock in various international corporations. This is the newly evolving world government. It will not block any nation from legislating protections of workers, or of consumers, or of the environment; it will simply hold a power to extract from any participating nation’s taxpayers fines for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders in international corporations. Citizens will increasingly be held under the axe, and the top stockholders in international corporations will be holding it. This isn’t the type of world government that was anticipated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, the founders of the U.N., and by the other early (pre-1954) proponents of world government. But, since 1954, the plans for this anti-democratic form of emerging world government were laid; and, now, those plans are the ones that are being placed into effect.

Thus, on 26 October 2015, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, the international legal expert Alfred de Zayas, headlined, UN Expert Calls for Abolition of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Arbitrations. That’s the system, otherwise called “ISDS,” which already exists in a few much smaller international-trade treaties, and which is now being introduced on the largest scale ever in TPP and in Obama’s other proposed treaties. The U.N. press release, calling for its “abolition” or explicit outlawing, said:

In his fourth report to the UN General Assembly, Mr. de Zayas focuses on the adverse human rights impacts of free trade and investment agreements and calls for the abolition of Investor-State dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) that accompanies most of these agreements.

“Over the past twenty-five years bilateral international treaties and free trade agreements with investor-state-dispute-settlement have adversely impacted the international order and undermined fundamental principles of the UN, State sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law. It prompts moral vertigo in the unbiased observer,” he noted.

Far from contributing to human rights and development, ISDS has compromised the State’s regulatory functions and resulted in growing inequality among States and within them,” the expert stated.

Earlier, on 5 May 2015, I headlined, “UN Lawyer Calls TTP & TTIP ‘A Dystopian future in Which Corporations and not Democratically Elected Governments Call the Shots’.” I close now by repeating the opening of that report:

The Obama-proposed international-trade deals, if passed into law, will lead to “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots,” says Alfred De Zayas, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.

These two mammoth trade-pacts, one (TTIP) for Atlantic nations, and the other (TTP) for Pacific nations excluding China (since Obama is against China), would transfer regulations of corporations to corporations themselves, and away from democratically elected governments. Regulation of working conditions and of the environment, as well as of product-safety including toxic foods and poisonous air and other consumer issues, would be placed into the hands of panels whose members will be appointed by large international corporations. Their decisions will remove the power of democratically elected governments to control these things. “Red tape” that’s imposed by elected national governments would be eliminated — replaced by the international mega-corporate version.

De Zayas was quoted in Britain’s Guardian on May 4th as saying also that, “The bottom line is that these agreements must be revised, modified or terminated,”because they would vastly harm publics everywhere, even though they would enormously benefit the top executives of corporations by giving them control as a sort of corporate-imposed world government, answerable to the people who control those corporations.

Why Capitalists Are Always Suicidal

Dear Robert

The right is almost certainly wrong in their denial of the causal connection between CO2 emissions and global warming. However, they are right about one thing: decarbonization is going to be expensive. There is a reason why fossils fuels became the chief source of energy for mankind. They are very energy-dense, not very expensive to produce and can easily be stored. The enormous rise of prosperity among most humans since 1750 would not have been possible without fossil fuels.

The left often talks about other sources of energy as if they are an economic boon. They are nothing of the sort. If you have to replace your furnace for a green source of heating, then that is a cost, not a benefit to you. It may be a necessary cost, but let’s not pretend that it will make you richer. Similarly, if mankind has to abandon fossil fuels, this will be very costly.

The argument that green energy creates jobs is pathetic, not because there won’t be new jobs in that sector, but because we can’t only look at jobs that are being created but also have to look at jobs that are being destroyed. If coal mines, oil refineries, gas stations, etc all have to close, then that means job losses. This green argument is on the same level of stupidity as the argument that increased military expenditure is good for the economy because it creates jobs in the arms industry and the armed forces. Yes, and it destroys in the civilian sector.

Sooner or later, mankind will have to be weaned off fossil fuels, but let’s not pretend that it will be cheap and easy. regards. James

 

We have to go off fossil fuels no matter the economic costs. This is the insanity of capitalism. Capitalists that we have to blow up the whole damn planet in order to save the economy. In other words, if it’s a choice between a hit to the economy and destroying the planet, the capitalists say, fine, let’s destroy the planet.

Are you starting to see why we socialists hate capitalism so much?

Republicans Pivot on Climate Change

Here.

Acknowledge the science, but say fixing Climate change will be too expensive all renewables are bad for the environment.

This is so not going to work.

The Republitards are venturing into an area that they know nothing about (in fact they don’t even believe in it): science. So of course Carly Fiorina does nothing but step on rakes for all four minutes of her intardview.

Face it morans. Science is bad for capitalism. The truth is bad for capitalism.

Republicans are almost like SJW PCtards.

The Cultural Left hates science too. They call the science they hate “pseudoscience” while the Republicans call the science they hate “junk science,”but the mentality is the same.

Face it. The truth is bad for the PC Dream World, so they simply deny science and say the truth is evil, or racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or whatever. Most people who figure out that the truth is evil simply can’t cope with that fact because it interferes with the Fantasyland they call Reality, so they simply say that the truth is false, the false is true, Reality is a lie, and Fantasyland is true. That’s the Cultural Left in a nutshell right there.

Republicans don’t say the truth is evil. They just say the truth is bad for capitalism, so therefore it isn’t true.

It’s truly pitiful that the Cultural Left has so much in common with the Teabagger Party. But as a friend of mine noted recently when I told him that I hated PC Commissars far more than Republicans, “Well, the PC people are similar to the Republicans. They both have contempt for the truth.”

70,000 Reindeer Die of Starvation in Russia's North

Global warming.
Although idiots say that the extremely cold, rainy and snowy winter and spring in the region does not fit in with global warming, actually it does because global warming is supposed to make the world’s climate more chaotic. Most regions will warm up, but some will actually get colder, snowier, more rainy, etc.
If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

"No Rainwater in Tokelau," by Alpha Unit

There’s not enough water in Texas. There’s not enough in East Africa and some other places, too.
Climate change is being blamed for some of it. La Niña, specifically, is being blamed for what’s happening in Texas – and for what’s happening in the South Pacific. Several island nations in the region are having water shortages and trying to fend off a crisis.
Tuvalu and parts of Samoa have begun water rationing. And the tiny nation of Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand, has only a week’s worth of fresh drinking water left. The people who live there collect rainwater for drinking, but because of La Niña, there hasn’t been much rain.
New Zealand is now in a joint humanitarian effort with the US government. A US Coast Guard vessel stationed in Honolulu met up with a New Zealand Defence Force aircraft on American Samoa to get water to Tokelau.
The US Coast Guard cutter Walnut has used its onboard desalination plant to produce 136,000 liters of drinking water. International seagoing vessels typically have onboard desalination plants. Naval vessels, cruise ships, and privately owned vessels have them. Most US Navy ships use reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plants.
In the RO process, pressurized seawater is filtered through a specialized semi-permeable membrane, which can remove about 99% of the impurities in water. After desalination, water is remineralized since desalination removes some of the important minerals normally found in drinking water. Then they check it for impurities, make sure there are no pathogens, and adjust the pH. Now it’s ready for delivery.
By the way, governments and private concerns have been examining the prospect of offshore desalination vessels for years. (Everything’s on the table. There’s a lot of people – and people use a lot of water.) There’s much to consider, cost (including energy costs) and what to do with that brine you get from desalination being major questions.
But there are people figuring it out.

Hilary Clinton, Tea Partier

This is what Hilary Clinton said recently. Discussing global warming, she said that global warming will be a great thing because the arctic ice will melt enough so that ships will be able to cruise through the Arctic very easily without having to worry about ice. I guess the Nome to Oslo route will be nice and quick.

Hilary Clinton was a good liberal President’s wife under Bill Clinton in the 1990’s. If you read her work, she’s always been a good liberal. But something happens to US liberals once they get into office. They morph into rightwingers.

It’s interesting to ponder why this might be so.

The truth is that the US government is owned completely by the US rich, the corporations, the bankers and Wall Street. With Citizens United, this is more true than ever. Even Democrats have to take the cash from the corporations and the rich if they want to get into office. Note the recent $45,000 a plate dinner for “liberal” Barack Obama. These are the people who put Obama into office. These are the people who own him. He’s beholden to them, not to us. When he gets into office, they give him his marching orders.

Once a President of either party gets into office, they realize that they are controlled by the rich and the corporations who really run the country. Republicans realize this anyway, and they only work for the moneyed classes and corporations anyway, so they don’t care. But no matter how liberal a Democrat is, this is the reality that hits them in the face the day they walk into office. Reading Barack Obama’s published work before 2008, he seems to be the typical liberal university professor type. But once he got into office, that all changed, and he’s spent most of his time trying to out-Reagan Ronald Reagan.

The truth is that the same thing probably happened to both Hilary and Obama. Once you get in office, you realize who really calls the shots in the US – the rich and the corporations. They run the country, the run both parties, the entire US media – TV, newsmagazine, newspapers, the Pentagon, the US military – in short, they run this entire country as their personal feudal fiefdom. You can’t go against them. On domestic policy, you must obey your rich and corporate feudal masters. On foreign policy, the agenda is US imperialism. You must obey the dictates of your lords and masters or you will be destroyed and run out of office.

This is probably as good an explanation as any of why there is no US Left, why there is no opposition press in the US, why we have two rightwing parties – the radical rightwing Republicans and the moderate rightwing Democrats, and why the future of America is the same as the future of all countries controlled by the Right – hopeless and progressive Third Worldization.

The Stupid Party

The Republican Party has been anti-science for a long time now, since Reagan in 1980 at least. Part of the problem is due to capitalism. Capitalists simply reject science when it gets in the way their profits. That’s why the state always has to run science research. Science is too important to let smarmy capitalist liars get their mitts all over it. Science run by capitalists, when it was done at all, would come up with exactly those findings that the capitalists running the science would want to come up with.

Note I said when it was done at all. Much basic science simply would not be run by the private sector. The private sector would only fund science that they thought they could make a buck off of, or else they would fund fraudulent science designed to protect their profits from regulators.

The Republican Party has been getting more anti-science since 1980. In fact, recent studies have shown that watching Fox News actually makes you stupid, in a dose response fashion. The more Fox News you watch, the stupider you get. That’s because Fox News lies to you about the truth all the time. There are many truths that Fox News will not admit because they are ideologically bad for the Right. And there are many lies that it continues to peddle because those lies are good for the Right.

Fortunately, the Left in the US, or what’s left of it, doesn’t have the same problem.

New information has just come out that proves that a majority of Republican voters, at least in Iowa, may well be retarded. Of Iowa Republicans:

79% do not believe in global warming.

65% do not believe in evolution.

Rick Perry has chimed in. He doesn’t believe in evolution either, but he believes in fucking beautiful young men, in quantities even. Rick Perry doesn’t believe in global warming either, but he believes in fucking scores of hot young hookers, stripper and call girls, often while doing lines of cocaine.

Perry has a particularly bizarre theory about global warming. He says that there is a gigantic conspiracy on the part of tens of thousands of climate scientists all over the world to cook the books and make up this fake scientific theory. Why are they all lying like this? For the money, he says. To keep the dollars rolling into their projects. Amazing, and not one scientist has blown the whistle about this.

Never mind that 97.5% of climate scientists believe in anthropogenic global warming. Never mind that even mainstream scientific groups are sounding ever shriller warnings lately about this looming crisis. Never mind that in the past few years the debate in climate circles has not been on whether global warming exists, but on whether or not we are underestimating it. The worried consensus is that we may well be.

Mitt Romney has chimed in idiotically, saying that he is not sure if the planet is warming or if humans are to blame. Way to have it both ways, Mittens.

India: Hell on Earth

Here is an excellent piece about India that I got from an internet site. The author is unknown, but he may be a Dalit or low caste Indian. It sums up why India is such a Hellhole – Indians created it that way.

We have a commenter on here called Dota, an Indian Muslim, who hates India way more than I do. He fled to Canada. He recently said that India is Hell and it’s people are the scum of humanity. That’s a hard-hitting thing to say, but is it true? He lived there for many years and I did not.

It does appear that Indian society and culture itself is at the core of India’s problems, and I can’t help but think that the religion of Hinduism is a big part of the country’s problems. As Dota says, of all religions, Hinduism cares about people the least. A shocking statement, but is it true?

In another comment, I talked about the hundreds of millions starving, diseased, shitting outdoors and living in the streets or fetid slums of India. According to Dota, Indian elites feel that the Indian poor living and dying in Hell deserve everything they get, up to and including death. That’s why there’s so little effort to fix up the mess – the poor deserve their fate. They even deserve to die. A shocking statement again, but what if it is true?

And once again, this belief seems to circle back around to Hinduism once again. The Hindu religion seems to be at the very heart and core of India’s Hell on Earth.

Why Do 1 Million Indians Flee India Every Year?

Any crackdowns on illegal immigrants abroad or restricting quotas to Indians are a major concern to India’s politicians. The latest statistics from the US Department of Homeland Security shows that the number of Indian illegal migrants jumped 125% since 2000! Ever wonder why Indians migrate to another countries but no one comes to India?

Here are some Indian facts:

Poverty Graph

According to the WFP, India accounts around 50% of the world’s hungry (more than in all of Africa) and its fiscal deficit is one of the highest in the world. India’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) score is 23.7, a rank of 66 out of 88 countries. India’s rating is slightly above Bangladesh but below all other South Asian nations, and India is listed under the “alarming” category. [IFPRI Country Report on India].

Around six out of 10 Indians live in the countryside, where abject poverty is widespread. 34.7% of the Indian population has an income below $1 a day, and 79.9% lives on less than $2 a day. According to the India’s Planning Commission report, 26.1% of the population lives below the poverty line. The World Bank’s poverty line is $1 a day, but the Indian poverty line is Rs 360 a month, or 30 cents a day.

The Current Account Balance of India

“A major area of vulnerability for us is the high consolidated public-debt to GDP ratio of over 70 percent…(and) consolidated fiscal deficit,” says the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the current account balance of India is -$37,510,000,000 (minus) while China is the wealthiest country in the world with $426,100,000,000 (plus). India listed as 182 and China as 1 [CIA: The World Factbook].

Human Development vs GDP growth

The Human Development Report for 2009 released by the UNDP ranked India 134 out of 182 countries, based on measures of life expectancy, education and income. India has an emigration rate of 0.8%. The major continent of destination for migrants from India is Asia with 72.0% of emigrants living there. The report found that India’s GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) is $2,753, far below Malaysia’s $13,518. China listed as 92 with PPP of $5,383.

Population

According to the Indian census of 2001, the total population was 1.028 billion. Hindus numbered 827 million or 80.5%. About 25 per cent (24 million) of those Hindus belong to Scheduled Castes and Tribes. About 40 per cent (400 million) are “Other Backward Castes”. The 15 per cent Hindu upper castes inherited the majority of India’s civil service, economy and active politics from their British colonial masters.

Thus the caste system virtually leaves lower caste Hindus as an oppressed majority in India’s power structure. Going by figures quoted by the Backward Classes Commission, Brahmins alone account for 37.17 per cent of the bureaucracy [Who is Really Ruling India?].

The 2004 World Development Report mentions that more than 25% of India’s primary school teachers and 43% of its primary health care workers are absent on any given day!

Living Conditions of Indians

89 percent of rural households do not own telephones; 52 percent do not have any domestic power connection. There are daily power cuts even in the nation’s capital. The average brownout in India is three hours per day during non-monsoon months and 17 hours daily during the monsoon. The average village is 2 kilometers away from an all-weather road, and 20 percent of rural habitations have partial or no access to a safe drinking water supply. [Tarun Khanna, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization].

According to National Family Health Survey data (2005-06), only 45 per cent of households in the country had access to improved sanitation.

Education

India has over 35 per cent of the world’s total illiterate population [UNESCO Education for All Report 2008]. Only 66 per cent of people are literate in India (76 per cent men and 54 per cent women).

About 40 million primary school-age children in India are not in school. More than 92% children do not go beyond secondary school. According to reports, 35 per cent schools don’t have infrastructure such as blackboards and furniture. And close to 90 per cent have no functional toilets. Half of India’s schools still have leaking roofs or no water supply.

While Japan has 4,000 universities for its 127 million people, and the US has 3,650 universities for its 301 million, India has only 348 universities for its 1.2 billion people. In the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities by Institute of Higher Education published by, Shanghai Jiao Tong, only two Indian Universities are included.

Even those two IIT’s in India found only a lower slot (203-304) in the 2007 report. Although Indian universities churn out three million graduates a year, only 15% of them are suitable employees for blue-chip companies. Only 1 million among them are IT professionals.

Health

India today allocates lower than one per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to health. According to United Nations calculations, India’s spending on public health as a share of GDP is the 18th lowest in the world. 150 million Indians are blind. 2.13 per cent of the total population (21.9 million) live with disabilities in India. Yet, only 34 per cent of the disabled are employed [Census 2001]. India has the single highest share of neonatal deaths in the world, 2.1 million.

107,000 leprosy patients live in India. 15.3% of the population do not live past age forty. Serpent attacks kill as many as 50,000 Indians while the cobra occupies a hallowed place in the Hindu religion. Heart disease, strokes and diabetes cost India an estimated $9 billion in lost productivity in 2005. The losses could grow to a staggering $200 billion over the next 10 years if corrective action is not taken quickly, says a study by the New Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.

There are only 585 rural hospitals compared to 985 urban hospitals in the country. Out of the 6,39,729 doctors registered in India, only 67,576 are in the public sector and the rest are either in the private sector or abroad. According to a survey by NSSO (National Sample Survey Organization), 40 per cent of the people hospitalized have either had to borrow money or sell assets to cover their medical expenses. Over 85 per cent of the Indian population does not have any form of health coverage.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in India. India accounts for one-fifth of the global TB incident cases. Each year about 1.8 million people in India develop TB, of which 0.8 million are infectious cases. It is estimated that annually around 330,000 Indians die from TB every year [WHO India].

Economy under Siege by Elite Hindus

In India, the wealth of 36 families amounts to $191 billion, which is one fourth of India’s GDP. In other words, 35 elite Hindu families own one quarter of India’s GDP by leaving 85% of ordinary Hindus poor!

The dominant group of Hindu nationalists come from the three upper castes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas) that constitute only 10 per cent of the total Indian population. But, they claim perhaps 80% of the jobs in the new economy in sectors such as software, biotechnology, and hotel management.

India is also one of the most under-banked major markets in the world with only 6 bank branches per 1,000 sq kms, according to the World Bank, and less than 31% of the population has access to a bank account. According to India’s national agency (NABARD), around 60 per cent of people do not having access to financial institutions in India. The figure is less than 15 per cent in developed countries.

Corruption

According to TI, 25% of Indians have paid bribes to obtain a service. 68% believe that governmental efforts to stop corruption are ineffective. More than 90% consider the police and the political parties as the most corrupt institutions. 90% of Indians believe that corruption will increase within the next 3 years.

“Corruption is a large tax on Indian growth; it delays execution, raises costs and destroys the moral fiber,” says Prof. Rama Murthi. Transparency International estimates that Indian truckers pay something in the neighborhood of $5 billion annually in bribes to keep freight flowing. According to Rahul Gandhi, only 5 per cent of development funds reach their intended recipients due to hierarchical corruption in the country [Financial Times].

Discrimination Against Dalits

Crime against Dalits occur every 20 minutes in India. Every day 3 Dalit women are raped, 2 Dalits are murdered and 2 Dalit houses are burnt down! These figures represent only a fraction of the actual number of incidents since many Dalits do not register cases for fear of retaliation by the police and upper caste Hindu individuals. Official figures show that there are still 343,000 million manual scavengers in India from the Dalit community. More than 165 million Dalits in India are simply abused by their Hindu upper castes due to their birth [HRW Report 2007].

Human Rights

When it comes to human rights issues in India, it has not ratified the UN Convention against Torture, and its citizens do not have the opportunity to find recourse in remedies that are available under international law. The victims are trapped in the local Hindu caste system, which in every aspect militates against their rights.

India has a very poor record of protecting the privacy of its citizens, according to the latest report from Privacy International (PI). India scored 1.9 points, which makes it an ‘extensive surveillance society’. A score between 4.1 and 5.0 (the highest score) would mean a country “consistently upholds human rights standards.” PI is a watchdog on surveillance and privacy invasions by governments and corporations.

Fake encounter killings are rampant in India. These extrajudicial killings are inspired by the theological texts of the Brahmins such as Artha Shastra and Manusmriti which teach espionage and torture methods. Every such killing of an innocent person, branded a terrorist, has encouraged the killer cops to target socially excluded communities like dalits, tribals and minorities.

India’s intelligence agencies like IB, RAW, etc. seem to be thoroughly infiltrated by foreign secret services which support powerful weapon producing nations. Formed in 1947, IB is engaged in wiretapping, spying on political opponents and sometimes indicting people on false criminal charges. The IB also has files on numerous authors, bloggers and media persons.

According to the National Human Rights Commission, as of 30th June 2004, there were 3,32,112 prisoners in Indian jails out of which 2,39,146 were awaiting trial. That’s more than 70% who had not yet seen a judge. India’s jails hold a disproportionate number of the country’s minority Muslims, a sign of discrimination and alienation from the Hindu majority.

The bar association in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, has refused to represent 13 Muslim suspects accused of bombing courthouses in 2005. A large percentage of Indian police officers, attorneys and judges appear regularly at events organized by notorious Hindu militant groups.

India is a parliamentary democracy, but nevertheless, it is not exactly a fully free society. The human rights group Freedom House ranks India as a 2 (on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 the highest) for political rights and 3 for civil liberties. Elections are generally free, but, notes Freedom House, “Government effectiveness and accountability are also undermined by pervasive criminality in politics, decrepit state institutions, and widespread corruption.”

The State Department observes: “There were numerous reports that the government and its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, including extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and insurgents, or staged encounter deaths.”

Minorities

About 20%, or 200 million Indians, are religious minorities. Muslims constitute 138 million or 13.4%, Christians, 24 million or 2.3%, Sikhs, 19 million or 2%, Buddhists, 8 million or 0.8% and Jains, 4 million or 0.4%. “Others” numbered 6.6 million or 0.6%. According to Mr. Tahir Mahmood, an Indian Muslim journalist, “The 2.3% Christians in the Indian population cater to 20% of all primary education in India, 10% of all the literacy and community health care, 25% of all existing care of destitute and orphans, 30% of all the handicapped, lepers and AIDS patients, etc.”

Discrimination Against Minority Muslims

Recently, Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee report admitted that 138 million Muslims across India are severely underrepresented in government employment, including Public Sector Units. Ironically, West Bengal, a communist ruled state, reported 0 (zero) percent Muslims in higher positions in its PSU’s! The share of Muslims in government jobs and in the lower judiciary in any state simply does not come anywhere close to their population share.

The only place where Muslims can claim a share in proportion to their population is in prison! Muslim convicts in India is 19.1%, while the number of under trials is 22.5%, which exceed their population ratio. A note sent on January 9 by the army to the Defence Ministry in 2004 said that there were only 29,093 Muslims among a total of 1.1 million military personnel — a ratio of 2.6%, which compares poorly with the Muslims’ 13.8% share in the Indian population. Officially, the Indian Army doesn’t allow head counts based on religion.

A Muslim child attends school for three years and four months, compared to the national average of four years. Less than two percent of the students at the elite Indian Institutes of Technology come from the Muslim community. According to National Knowledge Commission member Jayathi Ghosh, “There is a need to re-orient official strategies for ensuring better access of Muslim children to schooling outside the madrassas which cater to only four per cent of children from the community.”

Discrimination in Media

Hindu upper caste men, who constitute just eight per cent of the total population of India, hold over 70% of the key posts in newsrooms in the country. Including the so-called twice-born Hindu castes, the number rises to 85% of key posts despite constituting just 16% of the total population, while the intermediary castes represent a meager 3%.

The Hindu Other Backward Class groups, who are 34% of the total population, have a share of just 4% in Indian newsrooms. Muslims, who constitute about 13% of the population, control just 4% of top media posts while Christians and Sikhs have a slightly better representation. But the worst scenario emerges in the case of Scheduled Castes (SC’s) and Scheduled Tribes /Aborgines (ST’s), whose representation is nearly nil. [CSDS Study, 2006, The Hindu, June 05, 2006]

Discrimination in the Judiciary

India’s subordinate courts have a backlog of over 22 million cases while the 21 high courts and the Supreme Court have 3.5 million and 32,000 pending cases (2006). In subordinate courts, over 15 million cases are filed and an equal number disposed of annually by about 14,000 judges! Every year a million or more cases are added to the arrears. At the current speed, the lower courts will need 124 years to clear the backlog. There were only 13 judges for every million people.

Recently a parliamentary committee blamed the judiciary for keeping out competent persons of downtrodden communities “through a shrewd process of manipulation.” Between 1950 to 2000, 47% of chief justices and 40% of judges were of Brahmin origin!

Dalits and Indian aborigines make up less than 20 out of 610 judges working in Supreme Court and state high courts. “This nexus and manipulative judicial appointments have to be broken”, the report urged. [Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Constitutional Review, Sudarshan Nachiappan]. Among 12 states with high Muslim populations, Muslim representation in the judicial sector was limited to 7.8% [Justice Sachar Report].

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, only 31 per cent of criminal trials are completed in less than a year. Some even take more than 10 years. According to its study, Crime in India 2002, nearly 220,000 cases took more than 3 years to reach court, and about 25,600 exhausted 10 years before they were completed. The term of the Liberhan Commission, formed 14 years ago to probe the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya and originally given a mandate of three months, has been extended again!

Discrimination Against Children

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India has the highest number of street children in the world. There are no exact numbers, but conservative estimates suggest that about 18 million children live and labor in the streets of India’s urban centers. Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta each have an estimated street children population of over 100,000. The total number of child laborers in India is estimated to be 60 million.

The level of child malnutrition in India is among the highest in the world, higher even than some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, says the report Extent of Chronic Hunger and Malnutrition in India by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. While around 25 percent of children globally are underweight, in India the number is 43 percent.

A quarter of all neonatal deaths in the world (2.1 million) occurred in India, says the UNICEF Report 2007 . More than one in five children who die within four weeks of birth is an Indian. Nearly fifty percent of Indian children who die before the age of five do not survive beyond the first 28 days.

Discrimination Against Women

According to the 2001 census, female literacy in India is 54.16% versus male literacy of 75.85%. Most working women remain outside the organized sector. A mere 2.3% are administrators and managers, and only 20.5% of professional and technical workers are women.

There are an estimated 40 million Hindu widows in India, the least fortunate of them shunned and stripped of the life they lived when they were married. It’s believed that 15,000 widows live on the streets of Vrindavan, a Hindu holy city of about 55,000 population in northern India.

Many widows – at least 40 per cent are said to be under 50 – are dumped by their relatives in religious towns and left to live off charity or beg on the streets. Their plight was highlighted in Deepa Mehta’s award-winning film Water, which had to be shot mainly outside India because of Hindu extremist opposition to its production.

Nearly 9 out of 10 pregnant women between ages 15 and 49 years suffer from malnutrition, about half of all children (47%) under five are underweight, and 21% of the populations are undernourished. India alone has more undernourished people (204 million) than all of Sub-Saharan Africa combined.

Nearly 20% of women dying in childbirth around the globe are Indians. Six out of every 10 births take place at home, and untrained people attend more than half of those births. 44% of Indian girls are married before age of 18. 16% of girls from age 15-19 are already mothers or expecting their first child, and pregnancy is the leading cause of mortality in this age group.

On average, one Indian woman commits suicide every four hours over a dowry dispute. In an Indian marriage, the woman should bring jewelery, cash and even consumer durables as part of dowry to the in-laws. If they fail bring enough valuables, the victims are burnt to death – doused in kerosene and set on fire. The in-laws routinely claim that the death happened simply due to an accident.

Rape is the fastest growing crime in India. Every hour Indian women suffer two rapes, two kidnappings, four molestations and seven incidents of cruelty from husbands and relatives [National Crime Records Bureau Report 2006].

Fetus Killing

The female to male birth ratio was feared to reach 20:80 by the year 2020 as female fetus killing is rampant. Ten million girls have been killed by their parents in India in the past 20 years, either just before they were born or immediately after, the Indian Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury related to Reuters.

According to the 2001 census, the national sex ratio was 933 girls to 1,000 boys, while in the worst-affected northern state of Punjab, it was 798 girls to 1,000 boys. The availability of ultrasound sex determination tests leads to mass abortions in India.

Around 11 million abortions are carried out in India every year, and nearly 80,000 women die during the process, says a report from the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI).

Human Trafficking

Out of the 593 districts in India, 378 or 62.5% are affected by human trafficking. In 2006, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) sponsored a study conducted by Shakti Vahini, which found that domestic violence, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, unsafe migration and child marriage are the major reasons for the increasing rate of illegal human trafficking.

95% of the women in Madhya Pradesh involved in commercial sex are there due to family traditions. So are 51.79% in Bihar. While 43% of the total women trafficked are minors, 44 percent of the women involved in the flesh trade are there due to poverty.

Of the total women who are into sex work in the country, 60% are from the lower and backward classes, which indicates the pathetic living conditions of these communities. In Madhya Pradesh, a political bastion of Hindu right wing parties, 96.7% of women sex workers are from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

India has 4 million prostitutes nationwide, and 60% of the prostitutes are from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes or other backward castes. UNAIDS says over 38% of those living with HIV in India are women.

High Crime Rate and Communal Riots

India reported 32,481 murders, 19,348 rapes, 7,618 dowry deaths and 36,617 molestation cases in 2006. NCRB found that Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes (1,94,711), followed by Maharashtra (1,91,788), Andhra Pradesh (1,73,909), Tamil Nadu (1,48,972) and Rajasthan (1,41,992) during 2006. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 1,822,602 riots in 2005 alone [Incidence Of Cognizable Crimes (IPC) Under Different Crime Heads,  Page 2, NCRB website].

On average there are more than 2,000 cases of kidnappings per year in India. Under India’s notorious caste system, upper caste Hindus inherited key positions and control all the governmental branches. Violence against victims largely goes unpunished due to the support of upper caste crooks.

Economic Crimes

Economic crime continues to be pervasive threat for Indian companies, with 35% of them having experienced fraud in the past two years according to the PWC Global Economic Crime Survey 2007. Many incidents of fraud  go unreported. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers’ India findings:

* Corruption and bribery continue to be the most common type of fraud, reported by 20% of the respondents
* The average direct financial loss to companies was INR 60 Million (US $1.5 million) during the two year period. In addition, the average cost to deal with economic crime in India is INR 40 Million (US $1 Million), which is close to double that of the global and Asia Pacific average
* In 36% of cases, companies took no action against the perpetrators of fraud;
* In 50% of cases, fraud was detected by chance. [PWC Report 2007]

Armed Conflicts in India

Almost every state has separatist movements, many of them armed. A large number of Muslims were killed in the past few years across the country and the numbers are on a steady rise. On top of that, India has become a pariah for its neighbors. None of its neighbors appreciate their closeness to India, and they all blame it for meddling in their affairs.

63 per cent of India’s new budget will go to the military, police, administration and debt service (2008-09). The military might of centric Hindu elites in Delhi led to isolated feelings for the people of Jammu & Kashmir and the northeastern states. It is difficult for any community to feel part of a larger country when the armed forces of the country are deployed to silence them.

According to an Indian official report, 165 of India’s 602 districts — mostly in states like Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — are “badly affected” by tribal and dalit violence, which the government termed “Maoist terror”. India’s military spending was recorded at US $21.7 billion in 2006, and it planned to spend $26.5 billion during 2008/09 financial year. 85 percent of the Army’s budget is spent on the enormous manpower of 1,316,000, which is the fourth largest in the world.

India experienced a rapid increase in demand for security in the period following the Mumbai attacks. Thanks to terrorism imports by world’s weapon industry! India is now one of the world’s most terror-prone countries, with a death toll second only to Iraq, says a report from the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington.

India’s crime rates, already some of the highest in the world, are also rising, as is the incidence of corporate espionage. Approximately 5.5 million private security guards are employed by about 15,000 security companies in India. As an industry, it is now the country’s largest corporate taxpayer [CAPSI report].

In 2005, Business Week reported that India became Israel’s largest importer of weapons, accounting for about half of the $3.6 billion worth of weapons exported by the Jewish state.

“Do remember that 34 years ago, NSG was created by Americans. Hence it has been their onus to convince the group to grant the waiver to India to carry out the multi-billion dollar business as India is a large market,” said former Atomic Energy Commission chairman, Mr P K Iyengar.

The Booming Industry of Terrorism Experts and Security Research Institutes in India

With the emergence of Hindutva fascist forces and their alliance with neocons and Zionists, India witnessed a sharp increase in the number of research institutes, media houses and lobbying groups. According to a study by the Think Tanks & Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, India has 422 think tanks, second only to the US, which has over 2,000 such institutions.

Out of 422 recognized Indian think tanks, around 63 are engaged in security research and foreign policy matters, which are heavily funded by global weapons industry. India’s retired spies, police officers, military personnel, diplomats and journalists are hired by these national security and foreign policy research institutes which get enormous funds from global weapon industry.

These dreaded institutions in fact have a hidden agenda. Behind the veil, they work as the public relations arm of weapon industry. They create fake terror stories with the help of their media and intelligence wings and manipulate explosions through criminals in the areas of tribals, dalits or minorities in order to get public acceptance for weapon contracts.

By creating conflicts in this poor country, Brahmin spin masters get huge commissions from the sale of weapons to government forces. To these corrupt bureaucrats, India’s ‘national interest‘ simply means ‘their self interest’. Their lobbying power bring more wealth to their families as lucrative jobs, citizenship in rich countries and educational opportunities abroad.

India is one of the world’s largest weapons importers. Between 2000 and 2007, India ranked the world’s second largest arms importer, accounting for 7.5% of all major weapons transfers. It was fourth in military spending  in terms of purchasing power in 2007, followed by US, China and Russia.

Over 1,130 companies in 98 countries manufacture arms, ammunition and components. 90% of Conventional arms exports in the world are from the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council, namely USA, UK, Russia, China & France. The regions of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East hold 51 per cent of the world’s heavy weapons.

The Defense Offset Facilitation Agency estimated the expenditure on the sector of  $100 billion for next five years. At least 38 court cases relating to arms agreements are still pending against bureaucrats and military officers. Hindu fascist forces currently enjoy the upper hand in the media, the civil service, the judiciary, defense and the educational sectors of Indian society.

Sooner or later, the 25,000 strong democratic institutions in India will  collapse, and the country will be transformed into a limited democracy under the rule of a security regime like Turkey or Israel. The Hindutvas’ security centric nationalism was never capable of bringing peace and protection to ordinary citizens.

According to Global Peace Index, India currently ranked on bottom, (122 with 2.422 score). Interestingly, our favorite arms supplier, Israel is among the worst performer when it comes to peace ranking (141). It reminds a simple fact that peace cannot be attained by a sophisticated security apparatus.

Furthermore, India topped Asian Risk Prospects 2009 with the highest political and social risk, scoring 6.87, mainly because of internal and external instability (PERC).

Suicides of Farmers and the Collapse of the Agricultural Sector

In the last two years, more than 218,000 people across India committed suicide, mainly due to poverty, family feuds, strained relationships with loved ones, dowry harassment and health problems. In research by the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, there were 118,112 and over 100,000 suicides in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Most of those who committed suicide were farmers, and the victims took their lives either by hanging or consuming poison. Aside from farmers, women also have a high suicide rate. Since 1998, about 25,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide because they could not repay their debts. These debts, however, have largely accumulated because these farmers were severely overcharged by moneylenders, who demand up to 32% interest.

76 per cent of the nation’s land is owned by to 23 per cent of population. More than 15 million rural households in India are landless. Another 45 million rural families own only small plots of land, less than .1 acre each, which is hardly enough to make them self- sufficient, let alone generate a profit. 340 million people in India are largely dependent on agricultural wage labor and make $1 or less a day [Rural Development Institute (RDI), Washington].

70 per cent of the Indian population still depends directly on agriculture, but growth in this sector declined from a lackluster 3.8 per cent to an even more anemic 2.6 per cent last year.

Unemployment

Recently, a national report on the employment situation in India warned that nearly 30 percent of the country’s 716 million-strong workforce will be without jobs by 2020. The government of India doesn’t have the resources or political will to find jobs for such a large population.

Retail trade employs 8 percent of India’s population, the largest employer after agriculture. There are more than 12 million small retailers in India, 96 percent of whom are small mom-and-pop stores, each occupying less than 500 square feet, creating the highest retail outlet density per capita in the world. [Tarun Khanna, Yale, op cit.].

Call centers and other outsourced businesses — such as software coding, medical transcription and back-office tasks — employ more than 1.6 million people in India, mostly in their 20s and 30s. Heart disease is projected to account for 35% of deaths among India’s working-age population between 2000 and 2030, according to a World Health Organization study. The figure is about 12% for the United States, 22% for China and 25% for Russia.

Internal Migration and Influx to the Cities

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, is projected to grow into a city of about 21.9 million by the year 2015 and is currently plagued by vast poverty due to mass influx from villages. “There are 5 million living on the street every night, covered only in newspaper, ” says Dr. Werner Fornos, president of the Global Population Education think tank and the former head of the Population Institute in Washington, D.C.

India is spending more than $400 million (£200m) to polish Delhi’s image as a first-rate capital, a difficult task for a city that seems to exist between the first and third worlds. A third of the capital’s 14 million-plus people live in teeming slums. According to crime statistics, in 2006, Delhi continued to be the undisputed ‘crime capital’ of the country, a position it held for the previous 5 years in a row. 35 mega cities in India collectively reported a total of 3,26,363 crimes in 2006, an increase of 3.7% over 2005.

Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore together accounted for more than one third of all crimes reported in Indian cities having a population of over a million people for the second year in a row.

India, a Closed Country

India’s share in world tourism map, has hovered between .38% to .39% for a number of years. Irrespective of its huge area and beauty, foreign exchange earned from tourism is merely $2.61 billion (2006). India, scored only 4.14 out of 7 in the WEF’s recently released Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI 2007). Among 124 countries listed, Switzerland ranked highest while India was 65th, which is far below even Malaysia (ranked 31). India was also listed at the bottom of ‘developing and threshold countries’, which put Tunisia at 34th place.

Indian immigration policies do not welcome tourists. On VISA requirements and T&T index, India ranked 106 while Malaysia ranked 15. VOA facilities are not available to anyone. The easiest entry to India is typically limited to countries with considerable Hindu populations like Mauritius or Nepal. The Hindu elite leaders of the country are always more concerned about India’s physical boundaries and its holy cows rather than the life of its poor, 85% of the population. To them, the national interest means their own economical or political interests.

Indian Embassies are rated as the worst on Earth. They are notorious for ‘red tape‘ and ‘ corruption friendly service,‘ a complaint repeatedly quoted even by Non Resident Indians themselves. 90% of Indian businessmen believe that India has yet to emerge as a “hospitable country” [ASSOCHAM].

Global Warming Effects on India

Water tables are dropping where farmers are lucky enough to have wells, and rainfall has become increasingly unpredictable. Economic losses due to global warming in India are projected at between 9-25%. GDP loss may be to the tune of .67% per year. Wheat losses will be serious. The rabi crop will be hit even worse, which will threaten food security. Drought and flood intensity will increase. A 100-cm sea level rise can lead to a  loss of $1.259 billion to India equivalent to 0.36% of GNP.

Frequencies and intensities of tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal will increase. Malaria will be worsened to the point where it is endemic in many more sates. There will be a 20% rise in summer monsoon rainfall. Extreme temperatures and precipitations are expected to increase [Sir Nicholas Stern Report].

India got the most foreign aid for natural disaster relief in two decades, obtaining 43 such loans totaling $8.257 billion from World Bank alone, beating even Bangladesh and now has the 2nd highest loan in the world.

Transportation

Despite the much touted economic boom, only .8 percent of Indians own a car; most are on foot, motorbikes, or carts. And of all the vehicles sold in India from April to November of last year, 77 percent were two-wheelers – motorcycles, mopeds, or scooters. India has less than 1% of the world’s vehicle population.

China has built over 34,000 km of expressways, compared to less than 8,000 km in India.

According to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM), nearly 42o million man-hours are lost every month by the 7 million-odd working population of Delhi and NCR who take the public transport to travel to work because of traffic congestion during the peak morning and evening hours.

Road Safety

India accounts for about 10 percent of road accident fatalities worldwide,  and the totals are the highest in the world. Indian roads are poorly constructed, and traffic signals, sidewalks and proper signage are almost nonexistent. Other reasons for the high rates are encroachments, lack of parking facilities, ill-equipped and untrained traffic police, corruption and poor traffic culture.

An estimated 1,275,000 persons are badly hurt on the road every year. The social cost of annual accidents in India has been estimated at $11,000. The Government of India’s Planning Commission has estimated there are 15 hospitalized injuries and 70 minor injuries for every road death.

According to NATPAC, the number of accidents per 1,000 vehicles in India is as high as 35, while the figure ranges from 4 to 10 in developed countries. An estimated 270 people die each day from road accidents, and specialists predict that will increase by roughly 5 percent a year. Accidents also cause an estimated loss of Rs 8000 million to the country’s economy. About 80 per cent of the fatalities and severe injuries occurred due to driving error.

According to World Bank forecasts, India’s road death rate will continue to rise until 2042 if no remedial action being taken. In contrast, the number of road accidents in China dropped by an annual average 10.8 per cent for four consecutive years from 2003, despite continuous growth in the number of privately owned cars.

Doing Business in India

It takes 50 days to register a property in India, as compared to less than 30 days in China and less than 10 days in the United States and Thailand. Average cost of a business start-up is over 60 percent of per capita income, much higher than any of the comparable countries.

India has the highest cost of electricity among major industrialized and emerging economies ($.8 per kwh for industry as against $.1 kwh in China), or in other words a quarter of the gross electricity output, the result being the highest transmission and distribution losses in the world .

Transport costs are very high in India. It accounts for 25% of total import costs as against only 10% in comparative countries [World Bank Report on India].

Foreign Remittance from Non Resident Indians

In 2006, India received the highest amount of remittances globally from national overseas workers, $27 billion. Around $20 billion of this came from the Gulf expatriate workforce. Together, GCC countries are the largest trading partner of India, and home to 5 million members of India’s overseas workforce. The Indian government expects overseas Indians to pump in about US $500 billion into the FOREX reserves of the country in the next 10 years, making them the single largest source of foreign receipts.

Nearly three million people in Africa are of Indian ancestry. The top three countries with the largest population of Indians are South Africa, Mauritius and the Reunion Islands. Indians also have a sizable presence in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the east of Africa and Nigeria in the west.

Foreigners Living in India

Historically, about 72% of the current Indian population originated from the Aryan race. Prominent historians and Dravidians consider Aryans to be foreign invaders to India. The Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) was postulated by eminent Oxford scholar Max Muller in 1882 and later advanced by several western and Indian historians.

Under the current scenario, potential migrants or ‘invaders’ to India include a few ‘hired or weird’ Pakistani bombers, villagers from around India’s border with Bangladesh, Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka and prostitutes from Nepal.

The 92 year old Indian painter Maqbool Fida Hussain lives in Dubai after receiving death threats from Hindu militants.

According to Hindu extremists, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin has passed all the tests for Indian citizenship. On the other hand, Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, the Christian widow of Rajiv Gandhi, is still considered to be a foreigner by Hindu elites, while Pakistan-born Hindu Lal Krishna Advani is ‘legally and morally fit’ to become India’s next Prime Minister.

Leave India!

Sixty years ago Indians asked the British to get out of India. Now they are doing it themselves. To live with dignity and enjoy relative freedom, one has to leave India! With this massive exodus, what will be left behind will be a violently charged and polarized society.

The Hindutvadis’ Fake National Pride in India

A 2006 opinion poll by Outlook-AC Nielsen indicated that 46% of India’s urban class wants to move to the US. Interestingly, in the Hindutva heartland of Gujarat, 54% of people want to move to US.

Even Parliament members of the Hindutva party are involved in human trafficking from India. Recently police arrested Babubhai Katara, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, who was part of such a racket. He received $20,000 per person to move his victims to the US.

When Indians are fleeing all over the world to just to find a job, how can these Hindutva idiots claim any “National Pride of India”?

India is the World Bank’s largest borrower. In June 2007, it provided $3.7bn in new loans to India. Due to the fake ‘India Shining’ propaganda launched by Hindutva idiots, foreign donors are reluctant to help the poor people in this country. According to figures provided by Britain’s aid agency, the total aid to India, from all sources, is only $1.50 a head, compared with an average of $17 per head for low-income countries [Financial Times].

Gridlocked in corruption, greed, inhumanity and absolute inequality – of class, caste, wealth, religion – this is the real India. Hindutva idiots, your false pride and antics embarrass us.

If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

Romney Leading Obama in the Polls

This is extremely bad news, and it shows just how fanatically rightwing the reactionary American people are.

You wonder just how stupid Americans are. Romney is leading Obama, 49-46, in the latest ABC poll.

Romney is no moderate. This is what the joke is. Romney is seen as some kind of a moderate Republican. If this is what a moderate Republican is, we are in for some very deep trouble.

For instance, Romney has come out in full support of the Ryan Plan. The Ryan Plan would wipe Medicare off the face of the Earth, forcing the elderly to purchase their own medical insurance. It would also gut Medicaid by approximately 50% and would block grant it to the states. Some states have decided to try to end Medicaid entirely in recent days – for instance, Idaho. Surely Romney would allow rightwing governors to end the program entirely.

The rest of the Ryan Plan involves such deep cuts to the discretionary spending that it would end or seriously curtail most government programs outside of defense. The EPA, Food Stamps, the Department of Education and the Department of Energy would be wiped off the Earth.

Mitt Romney supports wiping out Medicare, Food Stamps, the EPA, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. He would cut Medicaid in half. He  would seriously curtail much of the rest of government.

Mitt Romney also supports the repeal of Obamacare, even though his own Romneycare plan as governor of Massachusetts was the same thing as Obamacare. He now says he doesn’t even support his own plan.

Mitt Romney supports jailing doctors give women abortions. Wow! Kook alert!

Mitt Romney actually believes in anthropogenic global warming, which must make him the only Republican who does so. He also says we need to cut our emissions. Good for him.

But it’s all nothing but lies because he supports the work of a discredited scholar who says that the best way to deal with global warming is to do absolutely nothing to try to stop it and just let it take its course. He says that the implications of it will be very mild and in many cases will even be positive. He says that we can muddle through global warming just fine with few to no problems. Further, he says he should not lower emissions one bit because AGW is no big deal. This is the real Mitt Romney: Complain about AGW, but do nothing whatsoever.

Mitt Romney made his money as a corporate shark, raiding and destroying perfectly good companies. He engaged in leveraged buyouts in which would buy good companies, fire all the workers, sell off everything that could be sold, and then turn a profit. He made many millions of dollars this way and he destroyed tens of thousands of jobs and maybe more. He also destroyed many fine US companies. Bizarrely, Romney claims that he created many jobs.

The truth is that Mitt Romney is an ultra-rightwing Republican fanatic loon. There’s nothing moderate about him. If you can find anything moderate about him, show me.

Romney is running against Obama’s handling of the economy. However, Romney’s own plan only involves massive cuts to government spending along with serious cuts to taxes on rich people and corporations. None of this is going to create one job. This is the same failed supply side economics that’s been ruining America for the last 30 years. It won’t even do much to touch the deficit, since the tax cuts should wipe out most of the savings.

The Republican Party has thwarted any stimulus spending that could hope to get this economy off the ground. Whether that’s due to calculation or ideology, the fact is that the Republican Party is deliberately running the economy into the ground in order to defeat Obama on the basis of a bad economy.

All sane people agree that the Ryan Plan would cause a new recession, if not a full depression. I’m not sure if Republicans realize this. The cuts that the Republicans are demanding are only going to sink the economy in the short term. The thinking is that the Republicans are willing to deliberately wreck the economy in order to defeat Barack Obama.

Ian Welsh "The Kabuki Congress"

Here.
I used to think that the Left, represented by guys like this, was insane or at least utterly unrealistic. Now it looks like the liberal/Left are the only sane people left in America.
Want to preserve Social Security no further cuts? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Want to preserve Medicaid with no further cuts? Only the liberal/Left supports this?
Want to preserve Medicare from further cuts? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Believe that polluting industries should be regulated? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Support the endangered species act and believe their preservation should be prioritized? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Believe that the US should pressure Israel to settle with the Palestinians and that the US should stop supporting the KKK-Jews in Israel unconditionally? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Opposed to the thorough corruption of US politics by corporations and big money? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Support the working class and middle class of America at the expense of the rich and the corporations? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Believe in labor rights and a government that fights for labor against corporate and business power? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Believe that free trade globalization is a catastrophe for the US worker? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Believe that neoliberalism, supply side economics and small government philosophy has failed US society for 40 years now and continues to destroy the US state and society? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Want to completely pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Only the liberal/Left supports this.
Welsh points out that Barack Obama is a moderate Republican. He always has been. From day one. Once you finally figure that out, everything starts to make sense.
My enviornmental organizations have been telling me about Barack Obama’s catastrophic failure to protect endangered species. This never made sense to me. Obama’s a liberal, right? So why isn’t he supporting endangered species? I don’t get it. He’ll start any day now, I kept saying. WTF is with Obama, I kept asking.
No he won’t. Obama’s going to get worse and worse on endangered species until he ends up as bad as George Bush. Why? Obama’s neoliberal DNC Democrat who’s even more rightwing than Bill Clinton, and Clinton was horrific on endangered species.
Clintonite Third Way corporatist DNC Democrats think preserving endangered species is bad for the economy. When it comes down to business vs environment, they always side with business. Now it all makes sense. Of course Obama wants to kill off all the endangered species and probably all the rest of non-human life too. That’s the DNC position.
I also never understand why Obama supported Ken Salazar as Interior Secretary. Salazar is a rightwing ranching and logging destroy the environment Democrat from Colorado. Why did Obama appoint him as Interior Secretary? WTF is with Obama? I kept asking myself. Now it makes sense. Salazar is Obama. They are both committed to destroying our nation’s environment in the name of the business community.
Why won’t Obama ratify the Kyoto Accords? WTF is with Obama, I kept asking. But Obama is a rightwing DNC Democrat. He believes that curbing global warming is bad for the economy, so he is going to throw the whole economy of the world under the bus for the business pigs. Sure, it makes sense.
Why won’t Obama push card check, a major goal of unions? WTF is with Obama, I kept asking. Obama’s a liberal, right? He’s pro-union. But he isn’t. Obama hates unions, and he hates workers. He’s a zillionaire limousine liberal, a member of the tiny upper class of America. Obama’s always going to wage class warfare for his rich class against workers and the poor, every day of the week. It makes sense.
Why does Barack Obama run around the world negotiating shitty neoliberal NAFTA trade agreements that cost US workers 20 jobs for every job they give us? WTF is with Obama, I kept asking. He’s a liberal, right? He’s for the workers, right? But he isn’t. He’s for business, and he hates workers. He’s out to screw the workers on behalf of his ultra-wealthy class every chance he gets. Obama’s also bought into the neoliberal lies that NAFTA agreements are the way to get the economy going.
Why does Obama keep cutting taxes and then screaming about the deficit? WTF is with Obama, I kept asking. He’s a liberal, right? He knows that tax cuts and then deficit screaming is a plot to destroy government by deliberately starving it of funds to create a debt crisis, and then use the fake crisis to destroy government.
Turns out Obama knows that full well. He’s actually one of the plotters. Obama’s goal is to deliberately devastate the state through endless crazy tax cuts, then fake scream about the debt bomb that he deliberately caused, then use that the ax the safety cut that he despises so much. Why does Obama hate the safety net? Not sure. These rich Democrats like Obama don’t have to use those programs and they get taxed for them. They probably want to shred the safety net on those grounds alone.

If Obama wasn’t black, he’d be a “moderate” Republican.  He is not a progressive, not a liberal and neither is Harry Reid.  Pelosi would be liberal in a different world, but she will do what the President tells her to do, she’s a good soldier.

Exactly. Even the “liberals” in Congress act like moderate Republicans when Obama orders them to. They won’t disobey him if he told them all to jump off a cliff.

An Examination of the Frog Extinction Epidemic

Repost from the old site.
Although many factors are involved in this epidemic, one of the worst is the Chytrid fungus epidemic. It is being spread by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes chytridiomycosis. This fungal disease is devastating frog populations all over the world, but particularly in Australia, and North, Central and South America.
The devastation in Central America has been particularly acute, with many species simply vanishing from the face of the Earth. Bd is just now spreading here in the US, with serious devastation of Sierra Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog populations in the Sierra Nevada. However, some populations are apparently surviving the epidemic with some some survivors intact and thereupon rebuilding their populations.
A paper in Nature (Pounds 2006) made the case that the chytrid epidemic was being driven by global warming. They suggested that Bd had always been there but had only become pathogenic in the face of global warming.
A new paper (Lips 2008) in the journal PLoS Biology challenged that theory with some interesting data. I did not read the Pounds paper, but the Lips paper was quite convincing.
Their argument is rather simple. If Bd had always been there, it would not show a spread rate typical of a spreading disease epidemic. Instead, it would tend to erupt in all places at once.
Lips’ team showed first of all that Bd had not always been in the environment, that is, it was not an endemic. It appears to have escaped from an Australian lab around 1970 and from there spread through Australia. From Australia, it made its way to the Americas.
We can see several places where it seems to have been introduced, and we can plot the years of introduction on a map. So Bd is acting like an invasive alien species.

Bd appears in Costa Rica in 1987 and then heads south to Panama. It seems to be following mountain ranges there too. The number of species lost in Costa Rica is very large.
Bd spread in South America following two introductions, one in 1977 and one in 1980. The 1980 Ecuadorian introduction heads both north and south along the Andes. The 1977 Venezuelan introduction heads south along the Andes. For some reason, Bd in South America is sticking to the Andes.

This is precisely how we would expect an epidemic following an introduction by an alien species to operate – a geographical spread from a point of introduction with a rate of spread in miles per year. Furthermore, the testing of many specimens in museums failed to find Bd in any of them prior to 1977. This suggests strongly that Bd is an invasive alien fungus that was not present in the environment before.
An alternative hypothesis was not tested but did occur to me: That even though Bd was an alien exotic invasive fungus spreading after accidental introduction, global warming had somehow made Bd much more lethal to frogs. I can’t figure out a way to test that hypothesis, and I guess none of the researchers are considering it. The Pounds team is sticking to their guns on this one, but I think that they are wrong.
It’s a good mind exercise to read academic science journal articles that test scientific hypotheses against competing hypotheses. It’s hard to read that stuff, but if you can get through it somehow, personally I find these brain puzzles to be a lot of fun. If you see learning as virtually a sensual activity as I do, this kind of stuff is almost as fun as a vacation, sports, sex or any other other purely sensual activity.
Learning and thinking is actually a blast, to me anyway. Try it sometime!

References

Lips, Karen R., Diffendorfer, Jay, Mendelson III, Joseph R., Sears, Michael W. 2008. Riding the Wave: Reconciling the Roles of Disease and Climate Change in Amphibian Declines. PLoS Biology 6:3.
Pounds JA, Bustamante MR, Coloma LA, Consuegra JA, Fogden MPL, et al. 2006. Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming. Nature 39: 161–167.

Cow Farts Cause More Global Warming Than Humans?

Repost from the old site.
The latest rightwing crap.
I was on a rightwing blog a couple of years ago and decided to ask how many believed in global warming. The vast majority did not. A few said it was happening, but it was natural. One or two said it was happening, but no one knew what was causing it, and we needed to study it more.
This blog has unfortunately become infested lately with some young White male 20-something reactionary-to-libertarian trolls who are lurking in the comments section.
It’s quite simple to be a libertarian when you are young, dumb and full of cum. I voted Libertarian at age 22. I’d never do it again, but that’s how you learn. People that age just haven’t been fucked hard enough and enough times by life yet. By the time we are 40, most of us have had about a million horrible things happen to us, and narcissism is on sharp decline. That’s why age and wisdom are traditionally synonymous.
They’re causing a lot of dissension, but echo chambers are boring. Comments rules forbid me from banning folks based on ideology, so for the moment, they are sticking around.
It’s kind of interesting to have some pet rightwingers to play with, because like a lot of pets, they do a lot of stupid shit. Since rightwingers can talk unlike all other pets, rightwingers also say stupid shit.
Debating rightwingers is like debating ultranationalist Jewish Zionists. Most of their arguments are absolute crap. The reason is because what they are arguing for is perfectly horrible to most folks.
Hence I really admire Zionists like Samson Blinded who just tell it like it is. I admire libertarians like Entitled to an Opinion who just lay it out in all of libertarianism’s heartless nastiness. Plus TGGP and Obaidah Shoher and really bright guys, and I have to admire that, if they are pushing something pretty awful.
Since conservatism and Zionism are unpalatable to most folks as they actually exist, conservatives and Zionists always have to lie to try to get decent people to go along with their programs, which most folks find repellent.
Anyway, it looks like the rightwing has moved on on global warming. Only 6% of the US says it doesn’t exist, but about 50% of Republican Congresscritters say so.
But the new line is that global warming exists, but it’s not caused by people, it’s caused by cow farts!
Well, if that were so, as a totalitarian, I would just say fine, so kill all the cows, serve the whole world steak for a month and be done with it. If that’s too radical, make a beef hamburger at McDonald’s cost twice what a chicken or turkey hamburger does. Soon every fast food joint has beef and non-beef options and profits are blasting right along.
This rightwing argument, like most of them, is ultimately devious. The rightwingers know that this hamburger-munching Americans will never tax their beloved burgers even one penny.
So they throw up their hands and say nothing can be done, especially about reducing auto emissions, which is really what they have their butts smoking about anyway. How dare you order me to ride a bike!
Cow farts cause global warming, so what business do we have trying to reduce car emissions? Let global warming continue apace.
Problem is that they are playing games with figures.
It is true that the cattle industry, in the totality of its effects, does account for 18% of global warming. However, cow burps and farts only account for 12% of that 18%, and that 12% is 98% burps and only 2% farts. So cow farts actually account for .04% of global warming. That is something like 1% of all transportation (mostly vehicle) emissions. Cow farts and burps in total account for 2.1% of global warming.
If cow burping and farting is only 12% of cow global warming, what’s all the rest? All the land, especially tropical forest land, that is cleared for cattle. All of the fossil fuel burning that goes into the production of fertilizer, feed and growing cattle. All of the transportation costs involved in the cattle industry. And on and on.
One would think that any livestock or animal husbandry is as capable of producing this problem as any other. Not so. Cattle cause the overwhelming majority of the global warming from animal husbandry.
Therefore, we could continue to eat meat, but just switch from beef to lamb, turkey, chicken, pork, goat, etc. I’d love to turn a lot of the cattle lands on the Great Plains back to buffalo and then harvest them for food. We had great herds of buffalo roaming our Midwest for thousands of years with no problems for the ecosystem and no global warming issues. I am told that rabbits are an excellent food.
A great way to do this would just be to tax beef and probably even milk based on the amount of damage it does to the ecosystem. My brother (I won’t go near the place) informs me that hamburgers at McDonald’s cost from $1-4. Double the price. Make them cost $2-8 instead of $1-4, as I mentioned above. It’s probably politically impossible, but that’s why I have totalitarian tendencies.
Cattle also cause a tremendous amount of other damage above and beyond global warming. I will just let the article summarize:

Livestock also produces more than 100 other polluting gases, including more than two-thirds of the world’s emissions of ammonia, one of the main causes of acid rain.
Ranching, the report adds, is “the major driver of deforestation” worldwide, and overgrazing is turning a fifth of all pastures and ranges into desert. Cows also soak up vast amounts of water: it takes a staggering 990 litres of water to produce one litre of milk.
Wastes from feedlots and fertilisers used to grow their feed overnourish water, causing weeds to choke all other life. And the pesticides, antibiotics and hormones used to treat them get into drinking water and endanger human health.
The pollution washes down to the sea, killing coral reefs and creating “dead zones” devoid of life. One is up to 21,000 sq km, in the Gulf of Mexico, where much of the waste from US beef production is carried down the Mississippi.
The report concludes that, unless drastic changes are made, the massive damage done by livestock will more than double by 2050, as demand for meat increases.

Obama Signals Move Towards Dipshittery

Idiot.
A majority of Americans oppose efforts to let the rich keep their tax cuts. And in terms of deficits and the economy, it’s simply insane. It’s a political loser.
I don’t know how the majority of Moronican assholes think about the climate bill, but it doesn’t matter. We need to push things like this through in order to survive to the next century at all or in any decent shape. I doubt if pushing a climate bill is going to kill Democrats at the polls.
But get this! He will not compromise on gays on the military! That’s probably the least important of the three issues and the biggest loser.
The smartest thing he could do would be to try to fix the economy any way he can. Of course, the Republicans will thwart him every step of the way because they don’t want an economy on the mend. They want an economy stuck in the mud so they can defeat Obama in 2012. That’s how shitty these Reptilican scum are.
You can see that Obama is triangulating, just like Clinton did after 1994. It’s true that it helped him in that he won in 1996, but what did we win? We ended up with a Democratic President as who acted like a liberal Republican.
Do you think these moves will help Obama or not? And if so, is it worth it?

100% of Senate Republican Candidates Deny Global Warming

Wow.

There’s crazy and there’s crazy. Then there’s Republicans. This headline is so weird that I find it hard to believe. 100% of Senate Republican candidates are global warming deniers? Good Lord, this party is fucking insane.

We have folks on this website who vote Republican. WTF is the matter with you? How cold you vote for anyone this nuts? Or are you global warming deniers too?

The global warming denier lunatics include then:

CA: Carly Fiorina
KY: Rand Paul
DE: Christine O’Donnell
ND: John Hoeven
IN: Dan Coats
PA: Pat Toomey
CO: Ken Buck
NV: Sharron Angle
WI: Ron Johnson
IL: Mark Kirk
WA: Dino Rossi
NH: Kelly Ayotte
MO: Roy Blunt
OH: Rob Portman
NC: Richard Burr
FL: Marco Rubio

No way is California going to elect a pro-life, global warming denying Republican to the Senate. Ain’t going to happen!

“Facing the Next Fifty Years: Global Warming,” by Abiezer Coppe

Climate change is killing 150,000 people a year now. That is the estimate of the World Health Organization for the year 2000, and now it is ten years out of date. So let us double that:

The once in a thousand year 2010 Moscow Heatwave caused an estimated 15,000 deaths.

For the “we have nothing to do with it” global warming deniers, here is a little primer on the current state of the science.

The science is already in.

There are metacommentaries on Russia’s heatwave here and here.

Climate records are being broken all over the world this year.

This is the actuality. It does matter. We can, all of us as individuals, do something.

Stopping global warming is actually a dream from which some of us still have to awake: it is more realistic to prepare ourselves and our society for the shocks that will inevitably come by practicing bioresilience. Our extraordinary adaptability as a species will be tested to the utmost in the next one hundred years. We have never had a challenge like it in the history of mankind.

Slowing the rate of growth of human carbon emissions (the global economic recession did so last year, although I see no real evidence at the level of political leaderships to cut carbon emissions) is one goal for the political elites, with eventual cuts at some unspecified date in the future, but a reduction of carbon emissions by 90% is actually what we must aim at as a society, which involves almost inconceivable transformations in the way we live, work, eat, travel and generate energy. A worldwide citizens’ movement is our tool.

We shall still move to a hotter world, but one that we shall survive, with far more modest and local lifestyles. We/I will also make the spiritual shift in our/my consciousness, and create new ways for ourselves/myself and our/my children to connect with and appreciate the beauties of nature in our over-informatized and mediatized world. Spiritual shift has now become a categorical imperative. Be the change you want to see. May I be the change I want to see…in me and in my world.

We have the luxury, in the privileged West, of having a little bit of potential space in our lives to accomplish this. If you are starving, drowning (as in Bangladesh and Pakistan), living at the edge of subsistence (Mali, Niger and Southern Sudan) and walking 12 miles a day simply to fetch water, there is much less space.

And the very poor are not producing the carbon emissions. It is us, in the developed world. I am not asking for guilt or a hair shirt: I am asking for awareness. And action. From myself, and from you!

Too much information, especially about such an explosive topic, actually creates anxiety and depression: have you noticed? I did in 2006, when I studied global warming nonstop for months. Too much (usually poor quality) information is actually the curse of our world: paying it too much attention creates a state of no peace.

Therefore we/I need to learn new ways to care for ourselves/myself, as we/I reconnect with the warp and weft of our ineffably beautiful and breathtaking living planet.

In time, perhaps, too, biodiversity will start to return to a planet currently in the sixth great extinction crisis of its long geological history. We need not be a plague on the planet. It is not our purpose here.

Once we come from a place of deeper peace and connection in ourselves, we rule out fear and chase it from our bodily abode: we then inspire others to seek that as well. Our activism has a more transformational quality on all around us. I have much to learn, much to heal, and much to change in myself.

Most campaigners, and part of the scientific community (James Hansen in particular), think that emissions cuts should begin at the latest by 2015. With the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition in power until then, we certainly have our work cut out.

“Business as usual” = civilizational collapse, sooner or later. And unimaginable human suffering. The suffering of Pakistan at the moment, but multiplied a million fold…

If you do not care, do not have children. They may not forgive you. Consciousness is rising about the scale of the challenge we face.

If you wish to be up to date on the subject of global warming, read the scientists! I suggest here and the NOAA, plus the climate progress website mentioned above.

I read them, and I am not a scientist.

The human race currently emits 29 billion tons (29 gigatons – more here) of carbon a year. And we do not do it by breathing or farting alone!

We have multiplied our biological carbon emissions as a species many fold through the development of technology, which required the burning of fossil fuels, the ancient sunlight of antiquity. Thus we become our own Nemesis.

It is difficult to point to any aspect of our current material lives that is not dependent on fossil fuels in some way, from plastic bags to cheap food.

We are changing the climate, and without global carbon emission reductions there is a point of no return, where positive feedbacks kick in and carbon emissions from natural processes such as the melting of the subarctic tundra, the loss of arctic sea ice in summer, and the burning of the world’s forests, start to render annual human emissions almost insignificant, kicking global warming into high gear.

We have – perhaps – a little window of opportunity now. It is human to hope. Nobody knows how long we have. It seems, from my many years of reading on the subject of global warming, that the window will certainly close by 2030.

And that date is based on the most optimistic of all projections.

When the climate “tipping points” are passed (the scientific consensus – but no one really knows – is that this starts to happen at 1.5 to 2 degrees centigrade above preindustrial global temperatures: we are currently 0.8 degrees Centigrade above), we are in for a very rough ride indeed.

That article is from yesterday’s UK newspaper, The Independent.

Given the current levels of urgency regarding this issue on the part of the global elites, runaway global warming is currently more likely than not.

Anthropogenic global warming has the potential to be the new global genocide. A genocide of the poor by the richest countries, with the highest per capita output of carbon emissions. Ask a Pakistani farmer in Sindh province how he is doing at the moment, and what his prospects are for 2011.

With runaway climate change, civilization will collapse, and there will – at some point after 2050 – be a catastrophic collapse in the global human population in the “business as usual” scenario (I do not like James Lovelock’s politics at all, but in that sense he is hard to contradict). For more on this, see Anatoly Karlin’s review of Six Degrees, by Mark Lynas.

It is a very graphic and a very detailed description, degree by degree of global warming above pre-industrial levels, of how human-induced global warming is changing the world we live in. And the précis saves you reading the book.

By 2020, at the current 0.2 degrees Centigrade of global warming per decade, we shall have passed the threshold of 1 degree of global warming globally since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Here is Anatoly Karlin’s summary of one degree of global warming.

One Degree

Though the Great Plains are one of the world’s great agricultural breadbaskets, a desert slumbers underneath. Increased dessication and pummeling storms will erode away the thin topsoil, recreating the Dust Bowl on a giant scale and re-awakening the sand dunes. More irrigation will only postpone the inevitable. There will be large-scale migration to the wetter Mid-West and Great Lakes regions. AK: actually called the Great American Desert during the 19th century!, and is now dependent on depleting Oglalla Aquifer.

Higher rainfall, glacial melt and strengthening Siberian rivers may interrupt the Gulf Stream (part of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system), drying western Europe and cooling it by as much as 2 C – recreating the conditions of the Little Ice Age during the worst winters. However, most models predict this will be a slow death. AK: If not, expect increased European dependency on Russian gas during the 2010′s and 2020′s.

In Africa, Kilimanjaro will lose its remaining ice by 2020 – causing wildfires, fish stock declines and problems with hydroelectricity production. Based on paleoclimate, in the long term, there will be a greening of the Sahara (into a savanna) and an enlarged Lake Chad…however, models say that there will only be a short interlude of heavier rains in the Sahel and on the West African coast, followed by even fiercer drought.

Coral reefs around the world will be increasingly bleached and taken over by seaweed; polar bears are pushed off the top of the world and creatures like pikas are shoved off the planet, accelerating the Anthropocene Mass Extinction event. Hurricanes will become stronger and more ubiquitous, spreading to the South Atlantic. More rockfalls in the Alps. Increased incidence of drought in the Amazon, pushing it to the brink. Atolls become doomed worlds, fated to submerge amidst the rising waves.

It will have taken around 250 years for a one degree rise in the mean global temperature to occur. However, climate dynamics are like a slumbering beast. There is a great deal of inertia locked into the system. First, there is very good evidence that the level of greenhouse gases being added to the atmosphere is itself rising. Secondly, the rate of global warming has been speeding up. Therefore we can, optimistically, expect the second degree of global warming after 2050, even with a concerted scaleback in emissions. That is within my children’s lifetime.

Now read Karlin’s summary of two degrees. Many of us will live to see this. At 0.3 degrees centigrade of increase in the global mean temperature per decade, two degrees arrives in 2053. A “climatic flip” is also possible: a sudden, dramatic acceleration, leading to climate collapse, from our perspective. The British Meteorological Office considers four degrees of global warming a possibility by 2060:

Now read Karlin on four degrees of global change. Are we not living through a planetary emergency?

Please read Anatoly Karlin’s review of Lynas if you read nothing else I reference. It is a glimpse into the uncertain future toward which we are headed, with no stars to steer by.

Global capitalism requires 3% compound growth to continue in existence, as David Harvey explains here in 3 parts. Capitalism must expand, or die. Both natural and institutional limits to the self-reproduction of Capital are a mortal threat to its very being. 3% compound growth, and our additional numbers, explain why the human species has moved from using 62% of planetary biocapacity in 1961 to 144% of planetary biocapacity in 2006. Is your country living within the mercy of its ecological means? Check the ecological footprint network atlas.

Not sustainable, and not a good outlook for the species. “No future, no future, no future for me,” as the Sex Pistols once sang.

I suspect, therefore, that the answer to human survival in this century and the next, and a civilizational level higher than that described in the visionary and beautiful written novel of our potential future in a much warmer world, Far North by Marcel Theroux, lies in a re-visioning and implementation of communism.

Read it and see what you think; then comment.

Despite the 20th century deviation of Communism from its original envisioning by Marx and Engels and the ecological disasters of the Eastern Bloc, Mao’s China and the Soviet Union, Marx’s vision of post-scarcity communism was profoundly ecological.

Cuba is the only country in the world today that lives within its ecological limits (page 14).

I find it very heartening that there remains one country in the world that has, largely by default, found a sustainable way to live, and that it is, with all its human rights and politico-economic flaws, a non-capitalist country.

Cuba is a glimmer of hope in a world ruled by the mantras of greed and growth. But not the only one by any means. People are waking up all over the world. Morales’ Bolivia, one of poorest countries in the world, and heavily dependent on extractive mining, has produced one of the most visionary ecological statements of the last year (to find it go to the Climate and Capitalism website).

Hope was the last thing left in the Greek myth of Pandora’s box, which we have, in the course of industrial civilization, unknowingly thrown open wide.

May we not let hope fly away altogether: this is my prayer for my children and yours, their children and your grandchildren.

“Apocalypse Now,” by Abiezer Coppe

Climate change is killing 150,000 people a year NOW. That is the 2000 estimate of the World Health Organization, so it is ten years out of date. The once in a thousand year 2010 Moscow heatwave has caused an estimated 15,000 deaths.

For the “we have nothing to do with it” global warming deniers, here is a little primer on the current state of the science:

The science is already in.

One can find a metacommentary on Russia’s heatwave here:

and here:

Climate records are being broken all over the world this year:

This is actuality. It does matter. And it cannot be stopped, but it can (I hope) be moderated to a level where we can survive global warming, by cutting carbon emissions drastically.

“Business as usual” = civilizational collapse.

If you do not care, do not have children. They will not forgive you.

If you wish to be up to date on the subject global warming, read the scientists! I suggest here and the NOAA, plus the climate progress website mentioned above.

I read them, and I am not a scientist.

The human race currently emits 45 billion tons of carbon a year. And we do not do it by breathing or farting alone!

We have multiplied our biological carbon emissions as a species many fold through the development of technology, which required the burning of fossil fuels, the ancient sunlight of antiquity. Thus we become our own Nemesis.

It is difficult to point to any aspect of our current material lives that is not dependent on fossil fuels in some way, from plastic bags to cheap food.

We are changing the climate, and without global carbon emission reductions there is point of no return, where positive feedbacks kick in and carbon emissions from natural processes such as the melting of the subarctic tundra and the burning of the world’s forests, start to exceed annual human emissions, and kick global warming into high gear.

We have a little window of opportunity now. No-one knows how long it is. It seems, from my years of reading on the subject of global warming, that it will certainly be closed by 2030.

And that date is based on the most optimistic of all projections.

When the climate “tipping points” are passed (the scientific consensus – but NO-ONE REALLY KNOWS – is that this starts to happen at 1.5 to 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial global temperatures: we are currently 0.8 degrees Centigrade above), we are in for a very rough ride indeed.

That article is from yesterday’s UK newspaper, The Independent.

Given the current levels of urgency regarding this issue on the part of the global elites, runaway global warming is currently more likely than not.

Anthropogenic global warming has the potential to be the new global genocide. A genocide of the poor by the richest countries, with the highest per capita output of carbon emissions. Ask a Pakistani farmer in Sindh province how he is doing at the moment, and what his prospects are for 2011.

With runaway climate change, civilization will collapse, and there will – at some point after 2050 – be a catastrophic collapse in global human population in the “business as usual” scenario (I do not like James Lovelock’s politics at all, but in that sense he is hard to contradict). For more on this, see Anatoly Karlin’s review of Six Degrees, by Mark Lynas

It is a very graphic and a very detailed description, degree by degree of global warming above pre-industrial levels, of how human induced global warming is changing the world we live in. And the précis saves you reading the book.

It’s fun to read! Apocalypse Now!

Please read Anatoly Karlin’s review of Lynas if you read nothing else I reference. It is a glimpse into the uncertain future toward which we are headed, with no stars to steer by.

Global capitalism requires 3% compound growth to continue in existence, as David Harvey explains here in 3 parts. Capitalism must expand, or die. Both natural and institutional limits to the self-reproduction of Capital are a mortal threat to its very being. 3% compound growth, and our additional numbers, explain why the human species has moved from using 62% of planetary biocapacity in 1961 to 144% of planetary biocapacity in 2006. Is your country living within the mercy of its ecological means? Check the ecological footprint network atlas.

Not sustainable, not a good outlook for the species. “No future, no future, no future for me,” as the Sex Pistols once sang.

I suspect, therefore, that the answer to human survival in this century and the next, and a civilizational level higher than that described in the visionary dystopian novel of global warming, Far North by Marcel Theroux, lies in a revisioning and implementation of communism.

Read it and see what you think; then comment.

Despite the 20th century deviation of Communism from its original envisioning by Marx and Engels, and the ecological disasters of the Eastern Bloc, Mao’s China and the Soviet Union, Marx’s vision of post scarcity communism was profoundly ecological.

Cuba is the only country in the world today that lives within its ecological limits (page 14).

I find it very heartening that there remains one country in the world that has, largely by default, found a sustainable way to live, and that it is, with all its human rights and politico-economic flaws, a non-capitalist country.

Cuba is a glimmer of hope in a world ruled by the mantras of greed and growth. But not the only one by any means.

Global Warming Doesn’t Exist

As you can see, there is no such thing as global warming. It's all a great big like dreamed up by Al Gore.

It’s simply incredible the number of dickhead Americans, almost all White by the way, who say that either there’s no such thing as global warming or it hasn’t been proven yet. In 2008, the figure of Americans who did not believe in global warming was 6%. Nevertheless, incredibly, it was about 100% of the Republicans in Congress. Can anyone show me even one Republican Congressman who believes in global warming?

These days, since Obama’s election, a relentless rightwing campaign run by the Republitard Party, Fox News and the Teabaggers (Yes, Teabaggers to a man don’t believe in global warming) has raised the number who don’t believe from 6% to 47%. Wow! And you know that almost 100% of those tards are White people. Even Blacks and Latinos are not that retarded.

For some assfucked reason, White nationalists have decided that global warming is a White issue. In other words, the pro-White view is that there’s no such thing as global warming. I don’t get it. Pro-White means acting like a retard then? Is that it? American Renaissance, Occidental Dissent, Stormfront, every dipshit WN site out there lines up with the 70 IQ crowd and says there’s no such thing as global warming. But isn’t their argument that White people are the smartest humans on Earth?

This just shows how shitty and evil capitalism is. What do people who don’t believe in global warming all have in common? They are reactionary capitalists and pro-capitalists, strong supporters of the capitalist mode of production. This is what capitalism does to your brain. It fries it to a crisp worse than any drug known to mankind.

Capitalists oppose the idea of global warming because they fear that efforts to deal with global warming by curbing global carbon emissions will result in serious losses to their the profits. Bourgeois White Americans refuse to believe in global warming because they believe that efforts to deal with it will cause a lowering of their standard of living. These idiots would rather blowup the whole fuckin’ planet than take a hit to their profits or their living standard. Capitalism more and more looks like mass suicide a la Jonestown or lemmings plunging off a cliff.

Wow! People would rather die and see others be killed than take a profit loss or a living standard hit? Damn. That sounds like drug addiction or alcoholism. The addict keeps on hitting the bottle, pipe or needle until he drops. He’d rather be dead than sober. He’d rather be high than alive. Same with a capitalist. He’d rather be dead than socialist. He’d rather be a capitalist than be alive.

I hang out on a site called 2Care. It’s a liberal site, full of middle class+ SWPL Whites. But it’s also full of insane rightwing Whites. The rightwing Whites are there because they often have some weird “Left” pet cause, like animal rights, religion, or even environmentalism.

The rightwingers have been getting more and more scarce lately for some weird reason (That’s because the US is swinging Right, eh Fox News?), but they are still out in droves on the global warming stuff. 2Care is a good view into the mind of middle class and upper middle class Whites. A Hell of lot of them, even White “liberals,” still don’t believe in global warming.

Unbelievable.

Rats running off the cliff.

Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs in the Sierra Nevada

Repost from the old site.

I don’t write much about amphibians on here, but I am amphibian nut, in addition to being a mammal, reptile and bird nut. I would be a plant and insect nut too if I could only figure out how to identify them. I’m interested in fish, but they are a little harder to observe in the wild unless they are at the end of your hook.

Anyway, I have long taken an interest in amphibians here in California and to a much lesser extent, throughout the entire West. I am particularly interested in threatened and endangered amphibians here in the state.

The mountain yellow-legged frog has declined disastrously here in the state, starting with heavy fish stocking in the Sierras by pack mules, and then declining wildly with arial stocking of high country lakes via airplane that began after World War 2. This arial stocking has since proven to be one of the stupidest things that the California Department of Fish and Game has ever done.

Every year, countless fingerlings were dropped into lakes all up and down the Sierras, even though after a while almost all of these lakes had completely self-sustaining populations and many lakes saw few if any fishermen in a given year. Furthermore, the populations grew so high that the fish became stunted and malnourished.

In addition, they caused serious problems to the entire ecosystem of the Sierra. This is because in general, fish were absent from much of the high country in the Sierra. The exception was in the Southern Sierra, where the golden trout was native. In the North, Paiute Cutthroats and Lahontan Cutthroats were native to some streams.

Rainbow trout were present, but mostly at the lower elevations. Apparently the streams were so steep that trout were not able to climb up the rivers and creeks to even get into the high country. When men first came in numbers to the High Sierras in the late 1800’s, they found most waterways devoid of fish.

However, there were vast populations of amphibians, in particular mountain yellow-legged frogs. They were so numerous at many high country lakes that you could almost hardly walk around without almost stepping on them.

Before World War 2, limited fish stocking began in the Sierras. Stocking was done in the high country via mule trains and was not particularly effective. However, the stocking was already starting to cause declines in the mountain yellow-legged frog population.

After WW2, arial stocking began and soon turned into a comedy routine and a massive waste of taxpayer money. The CDFG was addicted to fish stocking in the Sierras and refused to stop it or even study it even when environmental groups demanded that they do so.

CDFG claimed that the fish stocking program was somehow exempt from CEQA, California’s landmark environmental law and probably the one law that California’s business class hates more than anything else. Business interests have been trying to get rid of CEQA for decades now, but it’s not going anywhere.

The reason environmental groups wanted the stocking stopped was because studies began to show that fish were having a devastating effect on the mountain yellow-legged frog (MYLF) populations. This is because the MYLF did not evolve in the presence of fish and hence had adopted no defenses against them. Wherever fish were present, MYLF was either not present or there in only reduced numbers.

The fact that CDFG dragged their heels on protecting the MYLF for ages shows that CDFG hardly has an environmentalist agenda at all. They almost never propose any species for threatened or endangered (T & E) status anymore, and usually reject almost all petitions by environmental groups to list anything. They hardly protect anything once it does get listed anyway, so one wonders what good the listing even does.

The CDFG screams that budget cuts means they can’t do anything at all, and another problem is that much of their budget is funded out of fishing and hunting licenses. I have met quite a few individual biologists who work for the agency and by and large they are good folks. I think that there are political appointees at the top that thwart just about anything reasonable getting done though.

It’s not well understood that California is not really a very liberal state in many ways. The voters are still mostly White and older and they are much more conservative than the population as a whole.

Despite blatherings by White Nationalists that Euro Whites are the only race that bother to protect any nonhuman life that lacks utilitarian use for man, since 1980 and US Whites voting rightwing, there has been no greater enemy of the environment and nonhuman life in the US than Whites.

These Whites have solidly supported a pro-business and pro-corporate agenda that has declared war on the environment and every living thing in it. If we let capitalists have their way, they will exterminate all nonutilitarian nonhuman life on this planet, all because those living things get in the way of making a buck.

Hence we have a state run by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger that is almost totally beholden to corporate and business interests. This has been the case for every California governor since Jerry Brown.

Anyway, various hypotheses have been proposed for the decline of the MYLF. The non-native fish hypothesis has born out well. Pesticides from the Central Valley drifting up the mountains have also been suspected in the decline, along with the ozone hole.

There is some evidence that pesticides are related to MYLF declines, but testing the ozone hole hypothesis has shown that a thinning ozone layer is not frying frog eggs, even at high elevations. However, the thinning ozone layer has been having a bad effect on other frog and toad species. It seems that different species are variably effected by the thinning ozone layer.

Another hypothesis has been that a fungus called chytrid has been killing MYLF’s. This seems to be the case, and the killings are accelerating. Chytrid has been devastating frog and toad populations in various distant parts of the world, especially North, Central and South America and Australia.

An article was recently published in the journal Nature claiming that global warming was causing chytrid to spread. However, a subsequent article was published in another journal that seemed to indicate that global warming had not been proven to be behind chytrid’s spread. A cautious analysis seems to indicate that neither side has proven its case yet.

This particular type of chytrid seems to have escaped from a lab in Australia and has since been devastating frog and toad populations. First it pounded populations in Australia, then it moved to the Americas. Frogs and toads may not have evolved with this fungus, so it’s been hammering them hard. If any frogs and toads can survive the fungus, they may be able to pass on an immunity to it and enable the species to survive.

There have been widespread chytrid outbreaks in the Sierras in recent years. Just when some recent efforts to eliminate fish from some national park waters in the Sierra seemed to be bearing fruit, the fungus has been nailing the MYLF but hard. There have been 25-30% reductions of all types of frog populations in the Sierra over the past five years due to the fungus.

One theory is that the fungus has always been there but that recent environmental changes such as industrial and agricultural contaminants in the air, the frogs’ immune systems have been compromised, making them susceptible to the fungus.

However, some populations get hit very hard by the fungus for a while and then bounce back. The theory is that they have some sort of genetic resistance to the fungus. If this is true, then maybe the MYLF can survive in the Sierra after all.

As usual, the Bush Administration, the most anti-environmental President in recent history, refused to list the MYLF although it has been petitioned repeatedly. The most recent designation is “warranted but precluded “.

This is a sickening game that the Fish and Wildlife Service has been playing for some time now, dating back the “liberal” Clinton Era. The game says that the species qualifies for listing, but there are no funds to list it. It’s just a despicable bureaucratic game. How much does it cost to publish a listing notice in the Federal Register? Very little.

At the same time that the Administration pricks whine that there is no money to list any new species, they cynically and dishonestly cut the budget for listing new species! “Liberal” Bill Clinton started this bullshit, but Bush took it to overdrive. Sometimes, there is no lower life form than a politician.

Anyway, there are all sorts of species sitting on this idiotic warranted but precluded crap list for ages now. As the MYLF has declined by 93.3% in the last 100 years, that’s an endangered listing right there, and I’m not even a biologist. I know the listing criteria.

The Southern California population, which may be a separate species, is virtually extinct. It has declined by 99%. The Bush Administration did list this frog, but it’s almost gone anyway, as there are only 79 frogs left.

Probably no man has done more to save the MYLF than Roland Knapp, a Research Biologist at the University of California Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory.

These guys associated with universities are usually pretty honest and non-corrupted, while the fisheries and wildlife biologists and botanists I met working for the local National Forest were some of the most awful, corrupted and dishonest people I have ever met. If you don’t care about species and whether they go extinct or not, don’t take a job with the feds dedicated to protecting them.

The local national forest, the Sierra National Forest, is doing absolutely nothing to my knowledge to protect MYLF and MYLF is almost gone from Sierra National Forests anyway. Truth is that even USFS wildlife and fisheries biologists are ecstatic if a rare species of extirpated or nearly extirpated from their forest. Now we don’t have to save it! Less paperwork! I’m not kidding.

It was Knapp’s research a while back that conclusively proved that it was nonnative fish that were driving the MYLF extinct.

Knapp’s MYLF blog. Knapp’s MYLF page.

Fishermen are understandably upset about fish removal projects in the Sierras. To date, these projects have been very limited. It is probable that the main reason that the Feds are not listing the frog is that a listing would mandate fish removal from many or most Sierra waters. Those fish were not even there to begin with, and the MYLF is only present at high elevations anyway. There are plenty of low elevations to fish in.

I’ve done fishing in the High Sierras myself, but if you are so shallow that you can’t hike into the High Sierras and just dig it for what it is without wetting a line, I don’t even think you should even be back there.

Even better, fish removal would probably reduce the number of humans in the backcountry. It’s mostly wilderness anyway, so why do we need tons of people back there? They can remove the fish from most of those waters for all I care. If there are no fish in the lakes, just bring a book or lie on your back or explore around all day.

Recent research indicates that there are three separate genetic units of the MYLF in the Sierras, a Northern, Central and Southern genetic unit. At present, these have been split off into a new species, the Sierra Yellow-Legged Frog , or Rana Sierrae.

The Southern California population and some southern Sierra populations have been split into a whole new species, the Southern Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog. Distribution maps for Rana Sierrae and Rana Muscosa. Rationale for the split. The two species are estimated to have split 2.4 million (!) years ago. Hence, the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog, the subject of this post, no longer exists in its former form.

This split was done on the basis of an article last year (Vredenburg et al 2007). Whether the three separate genetic clades of the Sierra Yellow-Legged Frog warrant splits into subspecies has not yet been determined. In order to split into subspecies, usually a certain X genetic distance must be shown.

In February of this year, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned again to list Rana Sierrae as endangered. Surely it qualifies.

Lots of cool frog, tadpole and terrain photos at the links.

References

Lips, Karen R., Diffendorfer, Jay, Mendelson III, Joseph R., Sears, Michael W. 2008. Riding the Wave: Reconciling the Roles of Disease and Climate Change in Amphibian Declines. PLoS Biology Vol. 6, No. 3.Pounds JA, Bustamante MR, Coloma LA, Consuegra JA, Fogden MPL, et al. 2006. Widespread Amphibian Extinctions From Epidemic Disease Driven by Global Warming. Nature 39: 161–167.

Vredenburg, V. T., R. Bingham, R. Knapp, J. A. T. Morgan, C. Moritz, and D. Wake. 2007. Concordant Molecular And Phenotypic Data Delineate New Taxonomy And Conservation Priorities For The Endangered Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog. Journal of Zoology 271:361-374.

Liberal Race Realism Starting to Grow

I could not be more happy. This is a movement after all, that I am trying to birth myself. Hell, I may have even founded it.
It’s amazing that more people haven’t come around to it, but the PC Police are very threatening, at least here in California. Voicing the tiniest bit of racial heresy can have consequences such as being threatened with being thrown out businesses, threats and menacing looks from Hispanics, being openly shouted down in public by Hispanics and Blacks, loss of employment, loss of friends, and being labeled as a public pariah.
As far as being threatened with being thrown out of businesses, this has happened to me twice, both times on the most bizarre and ludicrous grounds.
On one occasion, I was accused of “distributing White Supremacist propaganda,” for showing folks a printed out post from this website. On another occasion, once again showing someone a printed out post from this site, I created a strange uproar and was politely told to never utter the word “race” in the place ever again. Such a dirty word!
In both cases, the posts were grotesquely misunderstood because the people reading them were too stupid to figure out what I was trying to say.
I’ve been told by my friends to never mention anything about this site to anyone around here, ever, other than to close friends. Likewise with printed out posts from the site. The reason given is that most people around here, including the Whites, are too stupid to understand this website, hence they will misunderstand it and get all sorts of weird ideas about it and me.
I’ve been stared down, threatened, menaced and spit at by Hispanics for daring to suggest that illegal aliens should take off. I’ve been told to “tone it down” by frightened Whites when discussing the illegal alien problem. Talking shit about illegals is downright dangerous in this town, seeing as they and their Frankenstein anchor baby offspring are probably about 1/2 the population.
I’ve been told that most of the Hispanics around my apartment complex regard as some sort of a virulent White Supremacist neo-Nazi skinhead type. I’m not really sure why they think this way, but that’s how these morons judge you if you’re not 100% in favor of America-suicide Political Correctness. In their own way, these Hispanics as bad as the worst Jews.
Given all this PC thuggery, it’s no wonder that White liberals are still drinking the PC Koolaid. Nevertheless, there does appear to be some hope. Check this out: Scroll down to “By elitist on 1/17/09 at 12:33 pm.”

DESPERATELY NEEDED are fora/support groups for progressives/moderates who are waking up to the reality of racial difference, but are not in the least attracted to white supremacy, antisemitism, climate change denial, hatred of Modern Art etc., guns, Neanderthal “barefoot and pregnant” anti-feminism, homophobia, medieval religiosity, etc.
Who do sincerely wish blacks, mulattoes and members of all races well, but who want an end to mass immigration, quotas, race blackmail, and speech censorship.
Speaking as a lifelong (and still) liberal, I maintain that it is wrong for progressives to cede a monopoly on the science of race to genuine racists and to work to maintain a firewall between science and public domain, all the while isolating themselves from the black community because they are frightened and intimidated, frankly, by the aggression and unthinking, superstitious mentality of most blacks, and by their astoundingly crude and bizarre ideological prejudices, and most of all by their open hostility toward whites and their boundless sense of entitlement.
We need an enlightened discourse on race that is free of all the above baggage, and that denigrates no one group but is based on a healthy dose of realism and skepticism, and on a robust pride in the achievements of European civilization.
Given the very real dangers to the livelihoods and social statuses of individuals who explore these “dangerous ideas,” we need a “RACE REALISTS ANONYMOUS,” a safe space for people to discuss their fears openly and without risk of exposure.
Whites are totally exhausted with being blamed for the seemingly intractable problems of the Black community in the US and elsewhere, and given the widening pathologies of that community, are tired of pretending to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Race difference is indeed the great taboo in our culture, but under the sheer weight of reality, it is starting to break down.
Impossible and oxymoronic as it sounds, liberal race realists need to develop a coherent progressive discourse about racial difference – and fast!!
This does not mean “making racism respectable,” it means giving the majority of whites a coherent position that is both realistic and respectful of all races.

What’s fascinating is that I have just now started to see some more folks refer to themselves as “liberal race realists.” It’s like a whole new movement coming out of the woodwork.
And indeed, the pro-White movement reeks of White Supremacism, anti-Semitism, anti-feminism, gun nuttery, homophobia, lunatic anti-environmentalism to the point of Climate Change Denial and hatred of Modern Art, Modern Music, Modern Literature, Modern Culture and indeed Modernity itself. To this I would add hatred for any kind of Left economics.
The whole movement is just reactionary to the core. It ranges from Paleocons to Neocons like Guy White to Libertarians like the “cognitive elite” HBD bloggers like One STDV and Half Sigma. Liberals just want to throw up their arms and run away screaming.
More importantly, we leftwing idiots, as the author points out, have effectively ceded this entire issue to the Right. We have no position on race realism, other than liberal thuggery, contempt for and demands for censorship of science (!!), threats, career destruction, and just shouting, “No! No! No!”
It’s true that race realism, due to the nature of its facts, tends to feed automatically into conservatism, not to mention reactionary views and out and out fascism. But it need not be this way. If race realism, is, after all, simply the truth, then liberals out to be able to fashion some sort of liberal discourse out of this difficult position. Why not? We can come up with a liberal position on just about anything, why not race?
For starters, as the author points out, a position statement could be opposition to:
Mass immigration
Quotas
Race blackmail
Speech censorship
I’m actually somewhat agnostic on affirmative action, but it sure has lots of problems. The public seems to be against it, and initiatives all over the US are killing it off anyway. It’s sort of a non-issue that seems to be taking care of itself.
Race blackmail is something that gets little discussion. I’m not sure what exactly he’s referring to here, but I don’t like the sound of it. I think I’m against it too. Is it something like, “Don’t you dare deport those illegals, or we will riot and burn down L.A. again?”
Speech censorship should be the last thing that true liberals are doing, but here we are, wielding the black pen, deleting, shutting down, burying and gagging speech everywhere in sight. Why? We don’t want the truth getting out! How cowardly can you get?
Anyway, it’s nice to see that this movement is finally getting some legs. I thought I was alone for a while.

By 2100, All Coral Reefs on Earth Will Be Gone

A terrifying fact.
That’s hard to believe, actually.
I do not write much about global warming because it is so damned depressing, and it seems like the morons who run the world (capitalists) are refusing to do anything about it. Honestly, the capitalist system, by its very nature, mandates that we must allow global warming to occur to the fullest extent possible. Why? Because putting a reign on global warming is bad for profits and bad for capitalism.
It is a law of capitalism that capitalists will oppose anything that gets in the way of their profits or reduces them. If they have to kill millions of people, start wars, or even ruin the environment of the planet, the capitalist will simply go right ahead and do it, come Hell or high water. He will deny and refuse the negative consequences of not dealing with the problem, because he must deny these things.
In this sense, capitalism is honestly unsustainable. It contains the seeds of its own destruction, as Marx said, and like an addicting drug or a personality disorder, blinds the affected entity to the fact that it is ill. The illness proceeds anyway, and tremendous damage is done to the entity, including, in many cases, death.
Therefore, capitalism, by its nature, is simply incapable of reform. All reform of capitalism in the name of human good comes from anti-capitalist forces. This is because all positive reform of capitalism comes from forces that impair capitalist profits. Everything that impairs capitalist profits is by its nature anti-capitalist.
There is the very real possibility that world capitalism may cause untold damage to the very environment of our planet in the coming decades. Fortunately, I will be dead before the worst of it happens.
This brings up an extremely important question. If capitalism is going to blow up the world environment and there is no way to stop it within the capitalist system, can we really afford capitalism? Even if socialism does not yet very well (This is a fact) is it still necessary since at least socialism is not mandated by economic laws to blow up the planet?
Think about it.